I would have thought it was almost impossible for me to dislike a film so much influenced by “2001:A Space Odyssey,” but “Ad Astra” managed it. Indeed, while “Ad Astra could contains so many visual references to “001” that it could almost be described as fan fiction; However, For the purist, “Ad Astra is “2001” but written by Robert Heinlein when he was drunker than usual-but the early, pre”stranger in a Strange land” writer. “Ad Astra” is rather like watching a film of say “Space Family Stone”, without the cute kids, with a big ladleful of Clarkian bombast mistakenly stirred into the soup tp Spice things up” The “tourist arrival on the moon scene from 2001 is repeated with a modern slant, but perhaps just slightly less biting Kubrickian satire Almost before you can credit it, the film stops being Kubrick , and starts channeling one of the more idiotic scenes in “Moon Zero 2”(“The first space Western”) a sub-standard sci-fi action film from Hammer(1969); A film which shows a similar contempt for scientific realism and commonsense.”Moon zero2 has Catherie Schell in a skin-tight brown leotard. “Ad Astra has Brad Pitt, and enough of the cast of “Space Cowboys” for it almost to be possible to consider it to be a sequel to that film.(And jeez but I like Donald Sutherland!)
I hope I’m getting the point across here; “Ad Astra” keeps referencing “2001” and demanding to be seen as period science fiction, while rocket engines roar in the vacuum of space, just before the moon-buggy car chase and gunfight Brad Pitt hiJacks a rocket at takeoff with it still being quite unclear to me exactly how he does it. He’s the only one inside wearing a spacesuit which is lucky for him because this is an American space rocket & some batshit crazy are member has a gun.
The quick review:”Ad Astra is shit. Kinda fun but too schizophrenic to be able to be laughed at all the way through with an entirely clear conscience. Like- I’m sure there’s worse stuff around