Space Cowboys

release year: 2000
genre: space action/drama
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/7/01
what I expected: wasn't sure
what I got: decent 2 hours' entertainment

synopsis: A satellite is failing, and the only one who can fix it is an old scientist/astronaut who uses this chance to get himself and his 3 equally-old buddies into space.

impressions: Entertaining, well-paced if based on a ridiculous idea. Then again, we DID send ancient John Glenn back into space recently. Anyhow, I had a few problems with this movie, notably that a bunch of guys this old simply cannot get into the physical shape required for spaceflight, at least not this fast (then again, didn't John Glenn do it? He did do it, didn't he? Hmm.) Another nagging point for me was a certain subplot that really didn't get resolved; I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that someone who SHOULD have gotten in big trouble didn't. I hate that. Still, if you put these points aside, this is a well-done movie that keeps moving, evokes some emotions, has good special effects, and keeps you guessing. It's also a sort of parallel, I think, to these actors' aging careers and the possibility that this could well be their last "action" role in a movie.

acting: Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones really take center stage here, as old rivals and the main guys. James Garner and Donald Sutherland don't get nearly as much to do - it seemed like each of their characters had a single trait that was there to remember them by. Still, there's no denying the buddy-buddy interplay between the four protagonists. As for antagonists...James Cromwell turned in the kind of performance he always does: evil old man working behind the scenes to make things bad.

final word: Entertaining, worth seeing once, especially if you like space travel/adventure movies.

rating: C

back to the main reviews page