I’ve spoken at great length about how my oldest son Jason has plans to colonize Mars. This isn’t a pipe dream, he has it planned in his academics and the years which he’ll work for Elon Musk at SpaceX. After this he’ll most likely take the second manned mission to Mars and hopefully spend the rest of his life there which breaks my heart. But he has been infatuated with space since he was 2 years old so I hate to stand in his way. When I was invited to screen the new Ryan Gosling movie First Man based on the life of Neil Armstrong they allowed me to bring a guest and I chose Jason.
First Man is based on the years of Neil Armstrong’s life when he worked for NASA with the space program. Armstrong lost many friends and co-workers to plane crashes and space-related accidents in the worldwide race to the moon. This took an obvious toll on him, one that affected his marriage, family, and career. He finally took his turn on Apollo 11 where he was the first person to walk on the moon in 1969.
Emotionally Stunted Scenes Lead To A Space Movie Which Falls Flat
This new space movie was not my favorite nor was it Jason’s which is surprising. While we were both expecting an epic Apollo 13 cinematic masterpiece what we got was an emotionally stunted movie about feelings. The addition of Armstrong’s daughter’s death did not fit the story well. The scene, though important in his life, wasn’t big enough so when the situation was continually brought up throughout the movie it fell flat.
On top of that, I felt bad for the youngest Armstrong son who was obviously dealing with behavior issues in his young years. I’m sure he’s since grown out of it and I hated that this is how he is perceived. I realize the point was to show us that Janet Armstrong was struggling to raise a family mostly alone, but it felt wrong.
Another issue I found mildly upsetting was this movie was all about America and a great American. However we cast a Canadian actor and a British actress to portray these powerful Americans. Acting is acting and strong actors can play any part, but I think there is a good chance American actors were probably available to play these roles. I don’t see Amy Adams starring in The Crown.
First Man – My Recommendation – It’s Not All Bad
However, with all this criticism I must say the special effects were pretty freaking cool. I heard somewhere that early screeners became motion sick due to the shaking of the camera but I didn’t experience this. Maybe they changed something? There was a lot of shaking, blasting off, space cuts and scientific technology that my son was interested in learning more about. Things have certainly changed since the 60’s.
While I don’t recommend First Man I will say if you have a space lover in your family it needs to be seen in theaters.