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Apollo 13

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 09/10/02 06:22:25

"Just gets better every time you view it."
5 stars (Awesome)

Ron Howard's seminal space flick has legs, baby. Yep, unlike many films that just get weaker with time and repeat viewings, Apollo 13 just picks up speed every time you see it. With a cast about as cool as any you could gather (Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris and Clint Howard!), a director at the top of his game and a kick butt screenplay, this is not only a great depiction of the events of the time, but also a fantastic flick in itself.

Man has just walked on the moon, the world watched and was enraptured but now, a year or so down the track, nobody cares about space travel anymore. Nobody that is except the guys who've made it their life's work to walk on the moon - a team led by Hanks and consisting of Sinise and Paxton. They're looking forward to getting their turn in a few years when suddenly the news comes in that they're being fast-forwarded into action. Yee-haw!

But when the base doctor decides that there's a slim chance that Sinise will pick up the measles and jeopardize the mission, a hotshot rookie, Kevin Bacon, is brought into the mix in his place. Just as well, because when the ship begins to fall apart heading towards the moon, it's Sinise's home-based expertise that will be one of the only hopes of getting the ship back with its human cargo intact.

In all honesty, if the events depicted in Apollo 13 hadn't have actually happened, we probably would have rolled our eyes and put this story down to Hollywood going too far with believability. The fact that it did happen, and that this is a fairly true to life depiction of the Apollo 13 incident makes the film all the more amazing.

Howard's direction manages to keep things taut, the cast keep themselves in check and avoid taking away attention from the true star of the show - the events and the images - and a cavalcade of side characters (Ed Harris' flight commander sticks especially in the mind) turn a great film into an epic work.

Never dull, never cliche and totally deserving of the Oscars it won, Apollo 13 is a film that you shouldn't just see, you should own it.

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