Apollo 13 (1995)

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2020)

Apollo 13

Title:  Apollo 13

Year: 1995

Genre:  Adventure | Drama | History |

Runtime:  140 min

Director:  Ron Howard

Starring:  Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon

imdb 7,6/10

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.


Hollywood has as often as they have needed to depict a true astronaut film, where a crew sends up to space for the purpose of handling a mission of some sort. Unfortunately, this is overrun by several sci-fi films that take over the good, biographical, and historic part of sending mankind to outer space. Some biographical stories are good and worth a watch several times around, even if the science-fiction part is strongly overhauled in the story. One example is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) that creates a mesmerizing atmosphere. No story can ever be compared to that masterpiece. Even if you look at Ron Howard’s own favorite film that he has directed; Apollo 13 (1995).

This film pales with other stories but it still has some grain of goodness in it. Even if it is based on a true story with Jim Lovell and his crew going on a mission to land on the moon but didn’t. Fred Haise and Jack Swigert are with him on the rocket. Roles played by Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon, respectively. Gary Sinise plays a supporting role in Ken Mattingly. Tom Hanks’s performance of Lovell is not all convincing. He feels distracted but according to Mrs. Lovell, he nailed his mannerism. He’s a good leader and the chemistry between the three leads work in the way as you get to follow them to the launch. Often with this genre, is that you’re already in space once it happens. You get the whole relationship and build-up before the launch, which in this case helps you understand how they will work together in the space capsule.

Hanks plays the commander. The chief and does a decent job of playing a boss in space. Paxton is withdrawn and there’s not so much character around him but with Bacon’s character, you will get a more hardcore type who is replaced two days before launch. Only leaving Ken on earth once they’re leaving. They say that he has the measling, but he has not. Not really.

As this is a true story told and if you do some research before-hand it becomes clear that this crew survives the voyage even with the disappointment not landing on the moon. With family watching and the Houston control, it drives and gives the audience some personal gain. Some clearance of sacrifice once everything doesn’t work as it’s planned. The communication works decently between the characters. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin also make a shorter appearance.

The pace of the movie works overall well. The start might be a little slow just like the ending as you hear Hank’s voice describing each worker’s future. This ain’t a film that grips you by the throat of excitement or suspense. It all works out good for them, but there is generally some good uncertainty in scenes played out. Especially in the second act. Apollo 13 is not a high-quality film, not all but it gives you a plain insight on how the mission plays out in the end.


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