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As Astra

Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is an astronaut who has a reputation for being able to push himself to get the job done. He lives in a world where space travel is relatively common; going to the moon to launch to Mars to use as a jumping-off point for a trip to Neptune is commonplace. McBride is given an assignment – to travel to the vicinity of Neptune to find out the source of a series of electromagnetic pulses that are destroying space stations; they are tied to a spacecraft that is headed by McBride’s father. The film is an interesting intersection of the expanse of space travel and the depths of the inner psyche. McBride has trouble connecting with people, and Pitt does a nice job of portraying someone who is absorbed in the analysis of his own dysfunction. It is a father-son relationship movie, but the core story always feels too rushed.  The culminating scenes left me feeling rather dissatisfied. I enjoyed the cinematography and the depiction of a world that is still in the early stages of perfecting its space capability – the world is imperfect and characterized by the reality of periodic accidents and people who are not quite up to the task of keeping up with the advancing technologies. Considering everything, I rate the film a thumbs-up; it is a pretty decent sci-fi film. (2019; 3 Stars)

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