Anthony's Film Review
Apollo 13 (1995)
This portrayal of a real-life disaster in space is both moving and gripping...
Of all the endeavors that people can do, space exploration is truly one for the privileged. Only a handful of individuals are capable and dedicated enough to take on the challenging but exciting opportunity to see things beyond planet Earth. There is always a chance that one can see or do something for the first time, like setting foot on the moon in 1969. We only hear about this sort of thing every now and then, but if an astronaut does something that may propel humankind into the future, people will be watching.
Sadly, this also occurs when disaster strikes space explorers, like when the Challenger exploded during takeoff in 1984. Another example was Apollo 13, which has been depicted in a 1995 film directed by Ron Howard. It stars Tom Hanks as Jim Lowell, Bill Paxton as Fred Haise, and Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert. These are the three astronauts who eventually form the crew of Apollo 13, launched into space in 1970. The first part of the movie is nice, especially with the first several moments in space involving routine procedural checks.
Then something goes wrong. A series of technical failures occur, ultimately rendering the Apollo dysfunctional. Lowell tells NASA Mission Control the dreaded words that also reverberate as a memorable film quote: "Houston, we have a problem." The drama from here is just intense. There is fear and frustration among the astronauts. I remember the scene where the Apollo crew and Mission Control are discussing a method to oxygenate the crew. It's like I was in the Apollo 13 myself.
This movie has what you expect in a good movie. It has a veteran director, Ron Howard, whom I think does many great films. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon are excellent in their starring roles. I also like the production design that gives the movie a very realistic look and feel of life as a NASA astronaut. And of course, the script is written well and surely captures the drama of this space disaster.
Apollo 13 is neither an average movie nor one of the greatest movies ever made. It's just good. It's a movie that's gripping from beginning to end, the latter of which was perhaps the best part of the movie. You can truly experience the same emotion as those watching the Apollo saga from Earth. When it was over, I could not help but think of all the people who have dedicated their lives to NASA. Overall, if you want a moving tribute to the men of Apollo 13, I think this film does justice.
For more information about Apollo 13, visit the Internet Movie Database.