Review: FIRST MAN Makes Space Travel Look Absolutely Terrifying

When I was growing up as a kid I always wanted to be an astronaut. I loved NASA, I still love NASA! The history behind it is so fascinating, especially the story of America’s race to beat the Russians to the moon.

First Man tells the story of NASA’s incredible journey to the moon in a way that I’ve never imagined and I’ll be honest… it was absolutely terrifying! If I would have watched a movie like this when I was a kid, there’s no way in hell I would ever want to have been an astronaut!

Director Damian Chazelle put a lot of attention to detail in this film and when it came to creating those space shuttle launch sequences, I felt like I was there experiencing it! He wanted to make you feel the madness of what those launches where like for the crew of those ships. NASA was basically sending human beings into space in tin cans and watching a movie like this makes you think about how freakin’ lucky some of these guys were to have survived it!

Not only were the visuals spectacular, but the sound in this movie was key to bringing these epic sequences to life. I was completely blown away by the technical aspect of the film. You really felt like you were experiencing what these astronauts experiences. It was such an awesomely immersive experience!

As far as the story goes, the film basically gave us the cliff notes film version of a lot of what we already knew about the story. It hit all the main points, but the way it was presented totally makes it worth watching. This is high quality filmmaking. The story of NASA’s adventurous mission to the moon was wrapped up in the dramatic story of Neil Armstrong’s family life and what it was like for him and his family to go through this world changing experience.

I would have personally liked to see more character development of some of the other minor astronaut characters in the story that I found interesting. Another thing that I would have liked to see that the movie completely skipped out on was what it was like to see the space shuttle modular return to earth. I would have loved to see Chazelle’s vision of that brought to life. I would have also liked to see his vision of how the lunar module reattached to the shuttle modular after the moon landing, but they skipped that as well. Those things may not be pertinent to the story, but that’s just some additional exciting stuff that interests me that I felt was missing.

As far as the acting goes, Ryan Gosling gave an incredible performance as Armstrong along with Claire Foy as his wife Janet. You can tell the movie was build around them and getting them Oscar nominations. Any you know what? They’ll probably get them!

Some of the other main players include Jason Clarke, Ethan Embry, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas, Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbott, and more. They were all wonderful in the film.

If you see this film, you have to try to see it in IMAX to experience it in all it’s awesome glory. This is one of those movies that needs to be seen on the big screen. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a quite an amazing cinematic movie going experience.