Outstanding personal story about Neil Armstrong and its depiction of the bravery of our astronauts as they undertook this immensely dangerous mission. I really don't get the backlash on the right about not showing the planting of the flag. This movie wasn't really about the space program as a whole, but rather about Armstrong the man. It's just as silly as the backlash from the left against Apollo 13 where they were saying that it was some kind of rah rah propaganda film for white men. I don't know if it's true that Armstrong left his daughter's bracelet in that crater, but it was a really powerful scene there at the end.
This movie is fantastic. It is not anti-American so people need to stop complaining about the flag ordeal. Landing on the moon was a human achievement. Im American, and very proud of the moon landing, but Americans could not have done it without everything the other countries did with space travel before. Don't hate the film because Ryan Gosling is Canadian, or because you don't see the USA flag being planted. This movie isn't about that.
Despite Gosling tacking to a subdued personality or the overwrought domestic arcs or factual errors, this film does a job that an accurate documentary cannot - show you how it sounded, looked, and felt. The shaky first-person view can be too visceral but with the great sound design, it again shows you how it feels to be on a creaking rocket careening through air and space one mistake from certain death. First Man also makes the viewer forget the ending that Armstrong will obviously survive and his certain fate by immersing you well. The contrast between life on the ground and the surreal experience on the Moon is also executed strongly in explaining better than in words why Armstrong wants to do this and why he is driven and ultimately why he is so special. There's no need for speeches or bombast when actions speak much louder. A classic American hero would be too varnished and inaccurate a story to the other extreme but I do wish they had included details like the two astronauts leaving a medal in memory of Yuri Gagarin who lost his life during a test flight or the planting of the flag but the film made its landing just fine.
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