2 min read

First Man: An Unexpected Disappointment

On July 20, 1969, mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, becoming the first humans in history to do so. This was an important day in human history, that people still talk about today, and will talk about forever. Since this occurred, there have been many movies, documentaries, and books made about this historical event.

The most recent movie about this topic, First Man, is sadly far from special or revolutionary. The film, directed by Damien Chazelle, follows Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) in the years leading up to the moon landing in 1969. Expectations for this movie were high because it is directed by an iconic director, Chazelle, who has made masterpieces like Whiplash and La La Land and it starred an iconic and very popular actor, Gosling, who has starred in films like The Notebook and also La La Land. While the film was okay overall and followed an interesting historical event, its acting and cinematography were not revolutionary or up to the standard of Chazelle’s previous works.

If there was one word to describe this film, it would be average. Many people were excited to see what innovative aspects and themes Chazelle had to offer this year after La La Land’s overwhelming amount of praise in 2016. But First Man does not come even close to the iconic acting and cinematography to Chazelles revolutionary work that is La La Land or even Whiplash. However, the film did have a particularly good ending, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon. The soft piano music and the point of view shot (meaning a shot showing what the character is looking at ) really gave you a sense of relief after the harsh and intense journey to the moon, and it was also just a beautiful scene in general. Although it doesn’t show them putting the American flag on the moon, it was still very and enjoyable and relieves the tension the audience experiences in the challenges getting to space. Nonetheless, one impactful scene could not outweigh the predictability of the rest of the movie

One particular weakness of the film is that it focuses so much more on Neil Armstrong than Buzz Aldrin. The directors don’t even attempt to display to the viewers who Adrin was, as well as his life struggle. Many people believe that Buzz Aldrin is just as important as Neil Armstrong during the landing on the moon, or even more important. Unlike Armstrong, Aldrin wasn’t portrayed by the director as this important American hero that landed on the moon, but rather Armstrong’s “sidekick”, which was NOT the case at all during the moon landing.

Overall, the film was a disappointing and average film, which I had a lot of faith in but ultimately did not deliver. If you are interested in Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong or the moon landing, you should perhaps check this one out.