The Dove Take:
After a string of power surges cause damage around the globe, Roy (Brad Pitt), one of the first astronauts affected and the son of the most famous astronaut in history, is asked to see the bigger picture. The surges are purposefully caused by a long-lost vessel on a mission near Neptune, the one his father disappeared on. Roy is tasked with contacting the vessel and stopping the power surges.
The film looks directly at humanity’s mental state as supposed truths are shattered in solitude, raising questions like, “Who can I trust? Am I alone in the universe? This journey takes us across the solar system in a juxtaposing beautiful and chaotic view of what we could become, using Ad Astra’s plot lines to answer these questions.
Visually, Ad Astra is strikingly beautiful. It’s a realistic look into the effects of solitude and how we may react to our beliefs (not religious faith) being proven wrong. Furthermore, the film explores the relationship between a parent and child. Ironically, Ad Astra mostly looks inward as the characters explore the outer reaches of the solar system.
There are notable Christian elements throughout the film, including Roy’s father, Clifford (H. Clifford McBride), thanking God for his space explorations and praising “His presence” that’s felt so powerfully in outer space.
However, there are confusing faith elements too, leaving the audience unsure if the astronauts are more awe-stricken by God or potential extraterrestrial life. In addition, the film includes heavy language and violence, most notably a bloody baboon attack, ranking this film Not Dove-approved.