Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego
Starring Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen
Running Time 88 Minutes, Rated PG-13
1.5 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com
It’s All Moonshine
Houston, we have a very bad movie. Earlier this week NASA had to make a statement that “Apollo 18” was a work of fiction and not actual footage of a lost mission. NASA also made a statement earlier this week of “duh”. Maybe the conspiracy theorists will have fun with this clunker, but for the rest of us, be warned there’s a reason why this film has been pushed back more than once and now resides in the movie wasteland that is September releases; it’s cause it sucks.
Add “Apollo 18” to the very tired sub-genre of found-footage films. Not to say it can’t be done right. I’m a big fan of the Paranormal Activity films and “The Last Exorcism” did plenty right, but for every one of those standouts there’s two of these fright-allergic duds. Credit director Gonzalo López-Gallego goes out of his way to void the film of any enjoyment by putting more attention on getting old stock footage to look right than creating suspense of any kind. His film school antics of editing violate any good intentions at every corner.
History remembers it differently but according to missing classified footage that some Internet hacker edited together (stupid), there actually was an 18th mission, and it did not turn out well. Three astronauts are sent up to a remote part of the moon to establish Cold War precautions only to discover an abandoned Russian shuttle has made it there first. Soon bigger problems surface, or I should say are unsurfaced, as foes that laughably rip off some of Ridley Scott’s earlier work don’t take kindly to its space invaders.
A shadow here, a little video interference there, and some up-to-no-good space rocks are supposed to scare, but it all adds up to be pretty boring. When it’s not boring it's annoying as something jumping towards the screen may cause a jolt but has no staying power when the outcome looks as silly as it does. López-Gallego major ruins the claustrophobia of the confined shuttle by putting them on regular space walks. The two astronauts followed could have been in the credits as White Astronaut 1 and White Astronaut 2 as there were no discernible character traits and were completely interchangeable.
It’s probably been done before, but there’s a lame website plug at the end of the film to garner more credit that this footage was real. You gotta be pretty desperate to shamelessly put a plug out like that. You can get more of my opinions of these matters at www.movieswithmitch.com
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