Ad Astra

Rated 2.0

Director James Gray and Brad Pitt come up with a halfway decent-looking, meditative and ultimately unsettling mess of an attempt at meaningful science fiction. Pitt plays Roy McBride, an astronaut following in his father’s (Tommy Lee Jones) footsteps decades after his dad disappeared on a scientific expedition searching for alien life somewhere around Neptune. When major power surges start threatening the planet, it’s believed Roy’s still possibly alive father is the culprit, so Roy is sent on a mission to reach his father and get him to knock it the fuck off. This leads to a journey that involves a lunar buggy shootout on the moon, an unimaginative visit to Mars, and, finally, a trip to Neptune. On top of the major scientifically impossible things that happen in this film, it’s stitched together with the ultimate crutch, the Apocalypse Now voiceover. Pitt is restricted to sad puppy eyes duty as his character deals with his daddy issues in a cosmic sort of way. They throw in a space monkey attack to try to liven things up, but it doesn’t work. The movie is a missed opportunity, strung out, and a little too boring and listless.