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First Man  (DVD)


Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Pablo Schreiber, Kyle Chandler, Ethan Embry, Ciaran Hinds, Jason Clarke, Christopher Abbott, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Lukas Haas

Director: Damien Chazelle

All those who thought that the billions of dollars spent on man reaching the Moon was money that could have been better spent on improving life on Earth should stay away from this one.

And, to be honest, for all the fine performances given by Gosling (as the taciturn Neil Armstrong) and Foy, as his trenchant but loving wife, and many others, the movie is too long for its content and sometimes a wee bit boring.

There seems little that director Chazelle, who made La La Land, can do to enliven the narrative, while Apollo 13 generated far more suspense.

The rather off-puttingly dull Armstrong is a member of the crew of the Gemini 8 rocket that almost made it to the moon some years before the successful 1969 mission, which partners him with two new crew members.

Armstrong's private life is brought more to the fore here, if in occasionally too idyllic a fashion, and proves slightly more interesting than the flights themselves, which baffle us with a series of knobs, switches, buttons and levers whose functions we have little time to comprehend.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by efilm.
134 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Feb 2019