«Ad Astra’s» slow pacing and existential themes probably won’t be for everybody. But almost exactly 20 years after «Fight Club», Brad Pitt once again hits me where it really hurts – for completely different reasons:
The focus on life has shifted, as they say. The now middle-aged Rafeman, who – once tempted by Tyler Durden’s nihilism – now understands the suffering of «Ad Astra’s» protagonist’s fear of loss, isolation and regret just all too well.
For what it is – namely an ethereal «Sci-Fi» movie – «Ad Astra» succeeds. Surely not as gut-wrenching, spectacular nor intense as «Project Mayhem» – but as effective and relevant a movie that’s aiming for the stars bound by its own limitations can be: Trying to be the next «Gravity» (with George Clooney) or «Interstellar» (without George Clooney) but ending up feeling more like the slightly disappointing «Solaris» (also with George Clooney).
But, as they also say: «Per aspera ad astra»*
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*) «Through hardships to the stars». Just to get that quote in there, too.