First Man

First Man

One giant leap into the unknown

We all know who the First Man on the moon was. Well, we all know his name, but we don’t know much about the man himself.

It is of course a fascinating story, and the movie is exciting in all its air- and spaceborne scenes – being in the ‘tin’ alongside the pilots and astronauts are thrilling experiences (the only disappointment being the over-use of shaky-cam photography) and make you reflect on the fact that the risk taking to be ‘first’ was immense.

The movie is not only about the moon landing; it is actually primarily a biopic of Neil Armstrong. If we are to believe Ryan Goslings interpretation of him, he was a deeply pained man yet one who struggled to show emotions and never really connected with people. To make up for this, in the film at least, Claire Foy plays his wife Janet as an also restrained personality, but one who is brimming with emotions and one who works hard to find ways to connect with him – which she, in fact, manages successfully.

In the end however, the two-pronged approach to the story – Amstrong’s mission and Armstrong’s home life – kind of misses the mark as it leaves the viewer wanting on each prong. As a space exploration movie it is nowhere near as exciting as e.g. Apollo 13 was, nor is it anywhere near as grand in its ambitions as e.g. The Right Stuff. As a biopic it doesn’t really shed a lot of light on Armstrong. As a viewer it is near-impossible to warm up to this man, and Foy’s role is too small to make up for this unfortunately.

Overall it is still a movie worth seeing – if only for the reason that it adds to the canon of space exploration movies and brings a new angle to it; on top of that, the acting is very good, and the action scenes are wondrous in their visuals and sound stage. Yet, I doubt this is a movie you will remember much of a few weeks after seeing it.


First Man
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