Movie Review: “First Man”

by Matthew Ruiz

“The Eagle has landed. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

This is the most famous quote in space travel history. The recent blockbuster movie, “First Man” tells the story of famous astronaut Neil Armstrong’s life before and during the space race and during the United States’ Cold War against Russia.

This movie takes you through the life and journey of Neil Armstrong. The movie starts off showing him running a test flight, scratching the atmosphere in a rocket-powered jet. He is constantly running test flights, but this one was his last one because he couldn’t control the stability of the flight.

Throughout this movie we see how Neil Armstrong feels about death and how it affects him mentally and physically. Armstrong also is affected by depression and loss of hope for all the people he has lost in the past. This depression not only affects him, but the people around him, such as his family members, friends, and even co-workers.

During the first 15-25 minutes of the movie, Armstrong experiences one of his hardest losses, as his baby daughter Karen is diagnosed with a malignant tumor which was in the middle of her head. She passes away and Armstrong loses the youngest of his two children. The tumor had affected her ability to walk and talk, and she died ultimately from pneumonia, which related to her weakened health.

During the reception, Armstrong held onto his daughters bracelet and placed it in his office, closing himself off from everyone. He goes back to work and is told the program is interviewing brilliant engineers for a space exploration. When Armstrong gets the job, he learns in the meeting room that the Russians have already beaten the Americans to space with four satellites.

The astronauts alongside Armstrong move now into basic training, where they are put in to machines that spin them and simulate life in space. Most of the trainees throw up their guts, and then move on to learning about rocket physics, which is considerably long. After years of training and studying test flights to get into space, they now plan their takeoff to the moon.

Unfortunately on his mission, Armstrong loses his two best friends on space test flights. On the Apollo 11 flight, he takes his daughters’ bracelet up with him and leaves it on the moon along with the American Flag in her honor.

The movie is a heartwarming and family-orientated tale about a man having good morals and being rewarded with arguably one of the greatest accomplishments in American history.


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