Trailer Talk: Ad Astra


Trailers are a work of art on their own, and sometimes they can be better than the actual movie (see Suicide Squad). But for the most part, trailers do a great job selling the movie they are for. So let's look at a trailer and see what we can glean from it.

Today's trailer is the second one for the sci-fi thriller Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones.


The first trailer was the standard Hollywood fare. It didn't do the movie any favors. It invoked zero emotion from me. This one was vastly different. It portrayed the tense, mysterious, and high stakes mission that Pitt's character must endure. The trailer was haunting. The score was on point, and it lays out the plot nicely without giving any twists away.

When movies like this are done well, they are done really well. Interstellar, The Martian, and Gravity all come to mind as some of the best in the genre.

The trailer makes me tense, so the movie should do so but on a higher level. The stellar cast helps, with Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland joining Pitt in the search for Jones's character. Negga is a wonderful character actor who doesn't get nearly enough credit for her work in things like Preacher, Agents Of SHIELD and World War Z

Tommy Lee Jones wouldn't be second billing if his role wasn't substantial. To cast him as the missing father, means he's either only missing to the characters and not the audience, or we will see a ton of archive footage or flashbacks of the character. If he was just a plot point, and not a fully-fledged character, the studio could have hired someone much cheaper than Tommy Lee Jones.

I like that the movie serves as a small Space Cowboys reunion too, with Sutherland and Jones together again. I am curious if they will share any scenes together.

As far as twists go, I could see them going with Jones being the bad guy. If he faked his death, it could be to work behind the scenes. People could want to find him to eliminate him. On the other hand, he could be the true hero of the movie, sacrificing watching his son grow up for the good of mankind or something like that.

Either way, I am expecting unexpected twists. So if we don't get any, then that will be truly unexpected. But judging by the synopsis, we'll definitely get some:

"Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos."

Ad Astra was originally supposed to be released at the beginning of this year, but was pushed back. That is usually not a good sign, but things seem all good based off the trailer alone. 

I'd love to hear what you make of Ad Astra and if this trailer elicits any reaction in you that weren't expecting.

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