It must be hard making a movie about a true story. It must be even harder when (almost) the whole audience knows the ending. Still, nearly twenty years after it was released (!), “Apollo 13” is still an edge of your seat thrill ride despite the fact we know the ending.
I was about 8 when the movie came out, and I don’t think my parents told me what would happen. All I knew was that it starred the first actor I would come to be familiar with (Tom Hanks). We all know the story: Hanks is one of three astronauts (the others played by Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon) who embark on a mission to the moon. During an normal oxygen tank stir, an explosion occurs, and every thing goes down hill from there.
I was not alive when the events happend in real life, but I can imagine, and I feel that Ron Howard (the director) nailed this movie as far as emotionality is concerned. This was a first in history: a crisis in space (really still the main crisis in space, I feel). I feel this is the type of movie that kids would not mind watching in school: They will be entertained, unaware that they enjoy learning a little on the way.
I feel I should also mention that, even though I normally am not a fan of the MPAA, they got it right when they rated this movie PG. Really, there are a few S words, but no F bombs. Any kid who sees this won’t be surprised at the words.
The other night I was watching this with my little sister, who said she did know some about Apollo 13 (and Apollo 11). She did not seem too keen on watching the movie I had suggested. She barely missed a minute of it. This tale of human drama and adventure has indeed stood the test of time.
Rating: Five Stars *****