3 October 2018 | bobzmcishl
Good, Not Great
I saw this movie at a sneak preview, and I had high expectations given the hype, but sadly, this was no "The Right Stuff." The problem may lie in the main character on which the movie is based, Neil Armstrong. He is portrayed as a colorless technocrat, who is somewhat cold to his family. The movie focuses mainly on his family relationships, and the landing on the moon is somewhat secondary, therefore the movie lacks a lot of drama. This is unfortunate since Armstrong led a very charmed life as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. The movie covers three of his serious incidents while flying, and he had at least three more, that could have been covered in a miniseries. A miniseries would have allowed for more in-depth probing of how Armstrong became the man he was. The main characters all suffer from superficial once overs. The astronauts were all household names but you wouldn't know it from this movie. The movie also had a hard time capturing just how terrifying some of the events were. Apollo 13 did a far better job of recounting the terror of that flight. Claire Foy as the wife was ok but she also had a degree of coldness about her. The movie also glosses over the misplaced disdain military pilots had for their civilian counterparts. The complaint was that civilian pilots by virtue of their engineering training were too mechanical and not true flyers. This was not true of Armstrong who got his pilots license at the age of 17. The movie should have started there. He was considered a brilliant engineer by his peers, and he was rightfully selected to be the commander of Apollo 11. That brilliance is not captured on screen. By the end of his career he had flown over 200 different aircraft. He was a giant. I think the movie should have brought that out.