Astronaut Roy McBride (played by the reliable Brad Pitt) travels to the edge of the solar system to find his missing father. He makes a discovery that may have dire consequences for planet earth. What a fantastic supporting cast: Donald Sutherland as Untitled, Tommy Lee Jones as Clifford McBride, Greg Bryk as Chip Garnes, Ruth Negga as Untitled, John Ortiz as General Rivas, Jamie Kennedy as Untitled, Ravi Kapoor as Arjun Dhariwal, Kimberly Elise as Lorraine Deavers, John Finn as Stroud, Kimmy Shields as Sergeant Romano, LisaGay Hamilton as Adjutent General Amelia Vogel, Loren Dean as Donald Stanford, Anne McDaniels as Shunga Hologram and Alyson Reed as Janice Collins.
"We see the text 'The Near Future... Humanity looks to the stars for progress'. We cut to a shot of space. We see earth from that angle. A space craft is flying slowly in space. What an entertaining and eary introduction to the movie. I really liked the text introduction and the fact that it says 'near future' makes you even more interested"Inside the craft an astronaut, Roy McBride (played excellently by the reliabe Bradd Pitt), enters his daily log and psychological evaluation via speech to a device on the wall. He says "I am ready".
We find out that Roy is a major. He goes outside the space craft to fix some of the infrastructure/space skaffolding.
"There is a heat surge and the top part of the infrastructure burns. Roy stumbles and tries to grab on to some beams but falls to earth at speed in an amazing scene! He unleashes his parachute and lands safely. What an innovative action scene, this is cinematography at it's best!"
Back on earth they have just experienced an electrical storm known as the surge. The Commanders interview Roy and are impressed with his stats and performance. His heart rate never went above 80. This is quite an amazing stat and you wonder how resilient Roy is. They tell him some top secret information. It's about special rays that caused the surge. The rays probably from originated from Neptune and are approaching earth. Then they chat about the "Lima" project.
Roy's father Clifford helmed the Lima Project and it was a project to do with the first man to reach the outer realm. The Commanders need info from Roy's father. They want Roy to first go to Mars which wasn't affected by the surge. Roy agrees to the mission. Roy see's an old video of his father and he's discussing his mission and that he misses him.
"Then Roy meets an old astronaut called Thomas Pruitt (played by the experienced Donald Sutherland) who tells him there is a possibility that Roy's father might be hiding from us. Brad Pitt shows the stress of Roy well in these scenes. By this stage Roy has undergone a dramatic fall and now they want him to find his missing father in space. Excellent subtle acting by Brad Pitt"
Roy gets a verbal message in his room that he is approved for Lunar travel hehe. Roy chatting to this device makes it a cool scene. Then he goes into a rocket and it launches. The launch sounds are awesome, the visuals too. They arrive at a space station. Roy chats to Thomas about the Lima project. Then they arrive on the moon.
"Suddenly as Roy and Thomas are in a buggy on the moon they spot pirates! The pirates have their own all terrain vehicles. They are fighting for resources. The pirates fire at their vehicle. Wow, these scenes are unexpected and awesome. It all happens with the moon landscape as the backdrop, wow!"It's a close call. The pirates fire at them. They escape. Then they go back to the station and prepare to go to Mars. They launch to Mars. Roy sees an old video that suggests his dad Clifford broke all communications with earth. His dad said that he would return for him.
Roy and another astronaut go for a space walk into another vessel. Cool scenes. The vessel is abandoned. Roy uses a device that detects movement.
"Then suddenly Tanner the other astronaut is seen suspended, his body jolting. It appears that he was attacked by a research primate/monkey! Gruesome unexpected suspenseful scenes here. Roy punches the primate and it retreats. Then it comes back at him again at speed. Roy gets Tanner and himself out of that section and closes the door! Tanner passes away"
Then Roy goes for another psychological evaluation. It's amazing that Roy is so calm. He gets through things, it's admirable. I love this about this character. But you know through his face and speech that deep down he must be suffering. Brad Pitt did an excellent job to create this character.
"They then land on Mars, this landing is exciting as it's at speed. There was a surge on the spaceship so they used secondary power. The Mars landscapes are arid and have a red sandy terrain. Great landscape cinematography"Roy checks into the Mars station. Roy states his mission. Then attempts to communicate with his father Clifford in a special room. No response. They tell Roy they'll try again next cycle. Roy is stressed because he doesn't know what's going to happen or whether he should remain hopeful to find his dad.
"Next cycle he says 'Dad, I'd like to see you again, I hope we can reconnect'. Its an emotional scene and tears run down Roy's face. Great scene by Brad Pitt. His emotions finally erupt here"The team tell him that "his personal association with Clifford makes him not suited for the project". Roy suspects they made contact with his father! They still don't allow him to stay. There is an admin girl that says she is to recommission Roys craft for a search and destroy mission. She wants to know why. Roy says the surge is coming from the Lima project and that's all he knows.
She says to him "They never told you what happened to your father". She shows him a sound file and a video file. His father says there was a sabotage and so he had to kill some of his crew. This is an interesting plot twist. Roy asks the admin girl to be on the next ship that leaves to Mars for that mission to the Lima Craft. The admin girl sneaks Roy onboard.
After the rocket launches the crew are ordered to arrest Roy and there is a scuffle ultimately leading to the deaths of all the crew members. Roy makes a log entry stating what happened. He switches all comms off. Roy is depressed and agitated. "What have I done" he says. Roy thinks of his wife. He had spent so much time on space projects and hardly any time with her. She probably felt neglected. He says his on his way to Neptune.
"He says he is stressed. The isolation in these scenes is magnificent. In that you feel his stress and loneliness. Great editing, sound and cinematography"The big craft gets close to Neptune. Then he launches a smaller craft to land on the spaceship of his father. He enters the spaceship and sees dead astronauts.
"The anticipation of their meeting had been a great build up. Then when they finally meet there is a scary tension, you don't know what to expect. He then goes into his fathers room and sees his notes. The eary tension continues. Then suddenly he hears a voice "Roy... Roy is that you". "You alone... " says Roy. "Yeah I am" says his father Clifford. Tommy Lee Jones as Clifford excels here. Wow, what a scene"Clifford says he never once found earth as a home. He never cared for his mother or Roy. This is harsh and Roy looks hurt. Clifford says that the last scuffle of the last survivors caused blasts that started the surge. Roy suits up his dad. "If we had more people like you we could have found intelligent life" says Clifford to Roy. Both Clifford and Roy leave the Lima Project vessel and attach themselves to each other vessel by wire.
"But Clifford doesn't want to go back to earth, he jolts backwards and this sends them both flying into space. Roy tries to pull him in but Clifford says "Unhook me... let me go" and so Roy does it. Clifford dissappears into space. Roy is then left alone suspended in space. "Why go on" he says to himself. Wow, what an impactfull scene. Visually stunning. You feel for Roy, he is heart broken"
Roy had previously examined the works of his father; photographs and samples and we see those scenes.
"He grabs a sheet of metal from a vessel and travels through the neptune rings with it as a shield in order to get back to his original vessel. He makes it! He was barraged by stones from Neptune. Roy wandering through space at speed with a shield looked awesome! I've never seen anything like it, wow"He enters his original vessel. The re-entry into Earth is spectacular. Great visuals. Great sound. The craft lands at speed. Roy has tears on his face. After landing he gets hospitalised. He enters his psychological report. They don't arrest him. He says finally "I will live and love... submit". What a great ending.
"Brad Pitt did an amazing job as Roy the astronaut. Roy goes through an array of emotions as part of his missions and Brad Pitt expertly conveys them. Not many actors out there know subtle acting. Pitt is the master of the quiet pause or emotional face. Tommy Lee Jones also excelled here with his brief appearance. His character Clifford was obsessed with space and captured the notion that space changes you"There is a lot of suspense and unexpected scenes in this movie. I loved that. The fact that we don't see Roy's father until the end increased the dramatic effect. What an entralling and exciting 2hrs 3min.