Space Cowboys

Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this space drama about four experienced astronauts put in a unique situation involving the recovery of a Russian satellite.

Frank Corvin (Eastwood) gets help from his old Air Force crew: “Hawk” (Tommy Lee Jones), “Tank” (James Garner), and Jerry O’Nell (Donald Sutherland).  Bob Gerson (James Cromwell), an old adversary of Frank’s, oversees the mission along with other NASA leaders played by William Devane and Marcia Gay Harden.

Courtney B. Vance and Loren Dean portray astronauts who compliment, support and challenge this experienced crew. This quality film shows many great “behind the scenes” shots of the space program when Frank & his crew complete some extensive NASA training.  All four leads have a believable chemistry that enhances the dramatic aspects of the story mainly for Frank and “Hawk”.

The second half fills the screen with spectacular space shots as the team focuses on the satellite.  The last shot gives good closure (explaining all the situations presented in a film and the results), but another shot showing more closure on two astronaut characters might clarify their status and show that their fellow astronauts cared about them more.

This action-driven film replaces words with glimpses and gestures and compels you to make simple, logical assumptions, especially at the end.  Notice how each scene provides entertainment value, character background, and information essential to the plot with no unnecessary “leftover” shots.

An enjoyable experience directed by a man who knows how to make a smart, complete film. The two-hour and 10 minute Space Cowboys comes recommended (*** out of four stars) and is rated PG-13 for some language.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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