Roy is brought in to meet with his superiors at the U.S. Space Command. Joshua Meyer is a Tokyo-based freelance writer who contributes to /Film and WDW News Today and has also contributed to GaijinPot and Japan Today. His voiceover states that he has always wanted to be an astronaut to help mankind. Roy recognizes his self-destructive side aloud right around the time that the news explains the surging phenomenon as a series of destructive electrical storms. Roy soon learns from his superiors in SpaceCom — a branch of the U.S. military like the proposed, real-life Space Force — that the electrical surge originated from the Neptune base of the so-called “Lima Project.” His father, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), served as the leader of this project, disappearing with the first manned expedition to the outer solar system. “The son suffers the father’s sins,” Roy intones. Roy and Pruitt join the crew on the moon, where they find themselves ambushed by space bandits. Warning: You may lose the entire afternoon reading old spoilers! She states that she was born there on Mars, and her own parents were part of The Lima Project, where they tragically perished. Posted on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 by Joshua Meyer. They concur that Roy should be part of the mission that will haul a nuke to Neptune and destroy the Lima Project base, thereby saving the universe from an uncontrolled release of antimatter. Intimate, vast and focussed, Ad Astra is a big budget but low-key movie, and like the most relatable space movies speaks eloquently about our flawed selves: our inability to learn, our tendency to use this bigger, emptier, star-spangled canvas simply to expand our Earth-honed stupidities. Taglines Maybe Ad Astra, like Roy, is too insular for its own good. That is not to say that the movie’s message, as it were, is without value. The answers we seek lie 4.3 billion kilometres away; however, in the unending emptiness of space, is Roy prepared to answer the ultimate question? Roy’s determined to rely on those closest to him now, but outside the objectified wife who comes strolling back in at the last minute, who might that be? Roy and Clifford start to make their way outside for Roy to go plant the nuke. He can hold the screen, but can he elevate our heart rates? He eventually discovers Clifford, who says he knew Roy would come. Would an astronaut who has braved this traumatic voyage and spent as much time isolating himself as Roy has really be equipped with the interpersonal skills to just jump back in and start living and loving again? After a string of collaborations with Joaquin Phoenix, Gray seems to have shifted into Heart of Darkness mode as of late. Submit,” it has the air of a “send tweet” declaration about it. Plot Keywords In the near future, the Solar System is being struck by mysterious power surges of unknown origin, threatening the future of human life. The movie withholds his true nature at first, but it tips its hand pretty quickly when it starts having characters refer to Clifford as “the best of us.” These same words were used to describe Dr. Mann, Matt Damon’s character in Interstellar…and we all know how that turned out. Helen then shows Roy a classified recording that reveals the Lima crew mutinied against Clifford in an attempt to return to Earth, but he killed all of them and eventually went insane. However, we’re allowed inside Roy’s head and he tells us what he’s feeling in a series of psych evaluations. I suppose the sharpest stab, in terms of drama, came when Roy’s estranged father (estranged in the sense that there’s been a whole solar system between them) matter-of-factly stated that he never cared about Roy or his mother. Helmed by James Gray, Ad Astra is something of an anomaly, both in Pitt’s oeuvre and in the current blockbuster landscape. He goes to work on the International Space Antenna right above Earth. The crew arrives on Mars, but another pulse causes their ship’s systems to shut down. As a series of immense energy surges sweep the entire solar system and the unprotected Earth, the U.S. Space Command suspects that the reasons behind the space anomaly may be the ambitious Lima Project and the renowned long-lost astronaut, Clifford McBride. It’s as if Roy, the inward-looking ambassador of our species, ventures off on a rocket and beholds the wonder of the cosmos, only to shrug, glance back down at the pit of his own belly button (Pitt’s pit), and declare himself alone in the knowable universe. He explains to Roy that the surges are coming from the ship’s damaged antimatter source. I know I saw and enjoyed We Own the Night, but The Yards fills me with a nagging uncertainty. The moon boasts Yoshinoya signs. Roy makes it to Neptune and finds the Lima base, which he plans to destroy with a nuclear payload. Synopsis. Now, life in the Solar System is under threat as strange energy surges are experienced, caused by activity on Neptune. He starts out the movie determined to “focus on the essential to the exclusion of all else” — even if it means keeping his pulse in check, showing no visible emotion, as his wife walks out on him. A recent Buzzfeed article pegged Pitt as “a character actor trapped in a movie star’s body.” If you look back at his filmography, there’s a clear pattern of Pitt playing off other actors as a kind of co-lead or ensemble head. On that front, his supreme focus, his shelving of spouses, and mission-oriented brain exposes something faintly narcissistic about him… and perhaps the whole filmmaking enterprise of Ad Astra, too. You can feel it fishing for profundity, but Gray renders much, if not all, of the subtext as text: spelling out the meaning of his movie in voiceovers and dialogue. Here, Pitt is on his own in a way he’s seldom been in his career. Pruitt suggests that Clifford may be hiding from them. NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy The film opens with Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) delivering a video message for a psych evaluation. Despite his all-American good looks, there’s an inscrutable quality to Pitt as a screen presence — as if he were somehow carved in granite and only to be understood from the outside in. Whatever its faults, this trip upriver to the eighth and farthest planet in our solar system (R.I.P. Now, Clifford's composed son and impeccable astronaut, Major Roy McBride, has to travel to the edge of the cosmos on a manned mission to the cold blue planet, Neptune, to see firsthand whether his father is still alive, and, hopefully, locate the source of a problem that threatens the stability of our vast galaxy. In Ad Astra, Pitt plays Roy McBride, an astronaut whose pulse rate never rises above 80 beats per minute. The distance between fathers and sons can feel lightyears apart, even when they’re in the same room.