Approaching the Unknown movie full length review - *Sigh* A complete waste of effort. Do yourself a favor and watch "The Martian" instead.
*I am certainly not a professional critic, I am just an average viewer here giving my personal opinion on how I feel about this film.*
Before watching this movie, I took a quick browse on IMDb to analyze the plot and it seemed like something I'd enjoy, even though the rating was only 4.8/10. Though the film had its obvious flaws and wasn't amazing, I was 20 minutes into the movie and didn't fully understand why it had such an ordinary rating. Then, as the film progressed, I began to gather just why it failed so badly...
Mission control felt like a cheap studio office and was extremely unprofessional. The protagonist "Stanaforth" was an unreliable, anger filled captain with psychological problems and it seemed extremely impractical and implausible that a space agency would send ONE PERSON into a one way space mission without proper psychological testing, considering they'd be by themselves in space forever, and if not then an extremely long period of time, because extreme solitude can be enough to drive any average man insane.
Space exploration in film is typically my favorite scenario when it comes to science fiction, and my 2 favorite science fiction movies of all time are "The Martian" starring Matt Damon, and "Interstellar" starring Matthew Mcconaughey; these two films had depth, character development, suspense, sense of intrigue and an unreal synopsis, with not only fascinating concepts but stand-out performances. I know I shouldn't compare films, but it's hard not to in these cases, and to me "Approaching the Unknown" was dreadful in comparison, when it comes to all of these factors.
Approaching the Unknown focused entirely on Stanaforth's journey to Mars, which ended up being ridiculously boring and a time-wasting effort. The mission went sideways when countless failures took place on the spaceship, yet Stanaforth persisted and eventually stepped foot on Mars. We as viewers knew it wouldn't be long before he'd be dead on the surface of the red planet because he simply didn't have the resources to survive due to the catastrophic failures of life support, but we never saw it because credits rolled out soon after the initial Mars landing. Nobody really wants to see a fail mission though, do they? I know I like to see some kind of success, especially if it's an unexpected prevail.
I did like the quotes of science and wonder that were said along the way though. Talking about what drives our fascination as a curious species is definitely not strong enough to hold a film together, though.
I'm not surprised the rating is so low on this film because as a whole, it's definitely not the most enjoyable watch in any element of intrigue and realism, but I have seen worse films so I guess that's a positive.
Bad synopsis, screenplay and is incredibly unrealistic. 2/10. Would never re-watch.