Space Cowboys (2000)

Geezers in space? Consider it the John Glenn biopic. Clint Eastwood teams up with veteran actors James Garner, Donald Sutherland, and Tommy Lee Jones to save the world with the combined aid of Ensure and adult diapers. But these old-timers show some of the “youngins” what movie entertainment is really all about.

Back in the day when the Air Force was in charge of space related programs Clint and his team were the cream of their crop and scheduled to be the first men to enter the dark void of space. Unfortunately NASA was formulated and the boys got the boot for a cosmo chimp. Now 50 years later the earth is threatened by a falling Russian satellite with technology too ancient that only a select group of experienced men still know to this day. So NASA enlists the help of the very men it backhanded so many moons ago to be drafted into a space operation to halt the plummeting satellite.

For a good while Space Cowboys is a breath of fresh air from a veteran team of actors. The rivalry between Jones and Eastwood as well as the young healthy astronauts versus the elderly-shake-your-hand-at-Wal-Mart astronauts makes for great comedy. The entire core group of actors sparkle with terrific chemistry and on screen presence. They create a jovial fun atmosphere that makes the movie humorous and surprisingly engrossing.

Space Cowboys is not liver-spot free. The direction by Eastwood is often flat and very un-engaging. The entire Russian Cold War spy subplot borders on the absurd, and the romances with women that can be their daughters makes vomit rise into my throat whenever I see their leathery faces suck the life out of those young and nubile girls. When the gentlemen get launched into space the entire movie loses focus and forgets what made it before. The typical space rescue themes abound and you know before they get up there that one of them won’t make it back, and probably do something heroic in the first place.

For the most part Space Cowboys is a reminder that the elderly still know how to put on a good show, even if the last fourth is very lackluster. These cowboys can ride off into the sunset content for a job well done.

Nate’s Grade: B-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on August 20, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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