Story: Over 30 years ago, the Lima Project that set out on a mission to Neptune to discover intelligent alien life went missing along with its crew that was headed by Clifford McBride. Now, it is his astronaut son Roy McBride who is assigned the task of reaching out to his missing father and solve the mystery behind a cosmic power surge that is threatening the stability of all life.
Review: Astronaut Roy McBride is both brave and calm at the same time. He is the only man whose BPM never rises above 80, even in the trickiest of situations. His psychological evaluations prove that he remains committed to his job and totally unaffected by all things else that are categorically compartmentalized as ‘not important’. So much so that who you see here is a scarred man, probably not capable of empathy or of pursuing any sort of normal relationship. The reason, and the gravity and impact of this reason, is what is explored through his journey in this film – the absent father.
Roy’s father Clifford McBride disappeared in space when he was out on the Lima Project – a mission that would make him the first man to Neptune (among his many other firsts in the cosmos). The aim was to find intelligent alien life, or any life at all out there in the universe. Over 30 years since all contact with the Lima Project was lost, and Roy having come to terms with the fact that he was an orphan, a mysterious power surge in the universe implies towards the probability that the source was the Lima Project and therefore the probability that Clifford might just still be alive out there.
We get to experience this story through Roy, and his complex journeys – both physical and emotional. So, it is Brad Pitt’s performance all the way and he keeps you hooked, balancing his efficiency on the job and his inefficiency as a broken individual from within and the transition from the first to the second and back. There’s also the charm and visual splendour of space that keeps you hooked. The director has taken the liberty to imagine a lot more of our world out in space – what with the moon station looking more like any other popular destination on Earth, with a subway et al, and the American station on Mars looking as futuristic as they come. There is a fair dose of action too – fights with pirates, aliens, with other crew members at crucial moments, and also an unbelievable stunt wherein Roy, after losing his capsule ride back from one ship to the other, propels himself on a metal blade across the rings of Neptune to get back on his ride.
What does not work for the film is the pace that is not as deep and thrilling as one would expect from a film set in space. The solitude of space and the man in space weighs you down.