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First of all, this movie suffers from an overapplication of Show, Don't Tell. It doesn't tell you anything. It makes reviewing a little hard because I just watched it and have no clue why anybody did anything. Apparently, there are "power surges" coming from Neptune, though why is not explained (to the best of my knowledge). Brad Pitt (I kept forgetting the character's name - is it Ray or Roy?) has to go on a long journey through the solar system that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, both scientifically and wihin the plot. Each stage brings us a bunch of new characters who then promptly disappear or are killed off. In fact, there aren't even any real dialogues in the entire movie. What seems like a dialogue is just two monologues happening at once.
The Show part is missing, too. The film is praised for its beautiful shots of space, but there aren't any. Most of the time it is bleak and dark. The rest takes place inside various space vessels. There's a lot of action, but it takes place randomly (every docking is an opportunity for things to ram into each other and shake). If you try to search for the amazing visuals,
I heard it described as a "hard sci-fi", but to use such a term for a movie that doesn't even bother with gravity (normal on Mars, weightlessness in a spaceship with engines on) does not deserve such a title.
I'm sure there is a message. It might be against the consumer culture, or against humanity at large. Or there might be a message "Never Give Up". It depends on which part you consider. Either way, it's more of an afterthought and doesn't reflect in the plot.
Speaking of the plot... If you cut out all BigLippedAlligatorMoments and deep monologues, you're left with a journey there and back. I guess the world is saved. But why would it matter if we're never shown the world?
Knowing Hollywood these days, I'd say it's about... an hour too long, at least.
On the contrary, I\'d say far too much is explained. Even more silence and contemplative long shots would\'ve been more effective at letting the film speak for itself. From my perspective, you can never have too much Show, Don\'t Tell. Brad Pitt\'s melodramatic narration feels incredibly forced, almost at an executive level. Seeing as how Brad Pitt\'s performance varies from alright to unengaging, some higher-up probably thought it\'d be necessary. It\'s like the infamous space baboons: including them without explanation would probably be more powerful and interpretable than Brad telling us that they remind us of his \"rage\".
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