Astro (2018)

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Astro (2018) Movie Poster Image
Low-budget sci-fi action movie has violence, cursing.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 104 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Positive messages about doing what's right are weakly conveyed and undermined by the open ending that doesn't resolve the story. Some iffy messages about women, like a joke about teen daughter Laura's lack of kitchen skills and Vivian's prominent bosom.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jack and Laura model a close father-daughter relationship. Most characters are clichés. Jack's a standard action hero who doesn't want to hurt anyone but isn't afraid to fight to protect what he cares about. Alexander Biggs is a cartoonish, Bond-type villain. Laura's briefly seen defying some gender stereotypes, but we don't get to know her well enough to convey those ideas strongly. The only non-Caucasian character is Dr. Ramesh, a South Asian who's a scientist.

Violence

Most fight scenes show kickboxing-style action; no gore but bone-crunching sound effects. One fight scene shows repeated stabbings, a long cut down the villain's back, a very bloody knife, an upward stab into the groin that shows a lot of blood dripping. A throat is slit; victim's bloody face and cut neck shown. Most fighting is in the dark with quick cuts and handheld camerawork to add tension, scariness. Guns; a few entry wounds with blood splats briefly shown. A military attack by a roadside bomber; soldiers on fire shooting rifles. Big showdown fight includes a sci-fi weapon that looks like a fiery knife.

Sex

A couple kiss and caress in bed. A news story mentions a sexual misconduct allegation. One character's cleavage is shown prominently.

Language

"S--t," "f--k" and variations, "hell," "damn," "bulls--t," and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink brown liquid several times. One character frequently smokes cigars, and several scenes include others smoking cigars with him.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Astro (2018) is a sci-fi action movie with some kickboxing-style fighting that includes gory, bone-crunching sound effects and one fight scene with knives that's very bloody. There are repeated stabbings. A roadside bomb attack on a military unit shows soldiers on fire. Profanity isn't frequent but includes "s--t," "f--k," and variations of each. There's a lot of focus on one character's prominent cleavage. There's drinking and smoking. Positive messages about doing the right thing are weakly conveyed and undermined by the story not having any resolution. Most of the characters are action-movie or sci-fi clichés.

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What's the story?

In ASTRO, billionaire aerospace mogul Alexander Biggs (Marshal Hilton) makes a shocking discovery that links intergalactic space travel to his old army buddy, Jack Adams (Gary Daniels). Biggs tries to convince Jack to join his research team and travel with him into outer space. But Jack doesn't trust Biggs or his motives, and as more and more of Biggs' secrets are revealed, it's starting to look like Jack's instincts were right.

Is it any good?

This low-budget blend of action and science fiction has a list of problems as long as your arm. But Astro's biggest problem is the complete lack of resolution to any aspect of the story. It plays more like a TV pilot episode made on spec, complete with fade-outs that seem custom-made for commercial placement. If it was going to be a TV series, the premise, and what the movie sets itself up to be about, would at least be kind of interesting:  A young woman's search for her father who mysteriously disappears after reuniting with a former buddy who's now a billionaire aerospace mogul. But this movie wasn't about that, at all.

Fans of professional kickboxer and B movie action star Gary Daniels will be disappointed in the few and far between fight scenes that aren't choreographed or filmed well. Sci-fi fans will be disappointed in how often the captive-alien story is picked up and dropped. Fans of movies will be disappointed in the bad sound quality, the confusing cuts that make it hard to figure out whether people are even in the same place or not, the unrealistic situations, the overuse of stating the obvious, the confusing flashback, the predictable plot, and on and on. Pass.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Astro. How much is OK in movies, TV, video games, etc.? Is it realistic?

  • What about the strong language? Is it realistic? Is using profanity a big deal? Why or why not?

  • Which action or sci-fi movies are your favorites? How does this one compare? Why do you think these kinds of movies are popular?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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