The American Conservative reviews
the Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong flick.
First Man is the sort of film that comes into being when creators steeped in the humanities turn their attention to traditional STEM subjects. Not once does the film feel like an extended commercial for programming boot camps or NASA summer internships (as it very well might have in another director’s hands). Rather, it shows an ethos that’s radically different from the swaggering scientistic triumphalism of Independence Day, The Martian, and others in the genre. Such films, all too often, portray the natural world as something that must be corralled, tamed, or beaten into submission through the strength of human ingenuity.
To be sure, this temptation is nothing new. Martin Heidegger wrote in 1954 that, for modern man, “[e]verything depends on our manipulating technology in the proper manner as a means. …The will to mastery becomes all the more urgent the more technology threatens to slip from human control.” And where, after all, is human control so limited as in outer space?
Quote is from QCT