First Man (2018)
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Space is cool. There’s just no way in getting around it. By rights no film about space expiration should ever be anything other than spectacular. This begins with a stellar opening scene and the story arc flows pretty well from there. True it’s a bit by the numbers, with a solid dose of Hollywood tropes, but it’s gripping and fun. Much more Apollo 13, than 2001, it’s a biopic with the drama ramped up and stylised for a mass audience. Ryan Gosling does what he does best, zero emotion and to the film’s credit, it’s dirtier, more raw than the aforementioned Tom Hanks yeehaw America is great advert. It’s not super in depth, but the loss of life in the space program is front and centre and this does give it a more realistic edge. The best thing though is the sound design. Not to take anything away from the lovingly recreated grim reality of 60s space travel, but there’s a subtlety in the sound work that lifts this just that bit higher. Possibly the best thing I’ve seen Gosling in, but like every one of his films, I doubt it’d stand up to repeat viewing.