Writer: William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert (Screenplay) Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger (Book)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan
Plot: 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.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Intensely Brilliant Drama
Story: Apollo 13 starts on 20th July 1969, the date Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Jim Lovell (Hanks) a fellow astronaut who missed out on the moon landing on Apollo 8 is hosting a landing party with fellow astronauts Fred Haise (Paxton), Jack Swigert (Bacon), Ken Mattingly (Sinise) who are scheduled to work together on the Apollo 14 mission.
When the team who are planned for Apollo 13 lose their place Jim, Fred and Ken are placed in for Apollo 13 with Jack part of the backup team. This does mean moving the preparation forward 6 months but an astronaut with Jim’s experience is trust to lead this mission.
With the world seeing this mission as curse because of the number 13 the team does have to make a last-minute crew change with Jack replacing Ken who is according to medical records going to become sick on the mission, with two days to prepare with Jack the mission is a go with mission commander Gene Kranz (Harris) controlling the mission back at NASA.
With the mission going well, it turns out the television networks just don’t want to show the mission because they see no excitement from just going to the moon once again, but the astronauts don’t know this.
When disaster strikes, the astronauts must use their skills to survive while the NASA puts together a rescue solutions for the men who could be lost in space forever. With the disaster potentially happen the television networks pick up the story with the nation watching on to see if the crew of Apollo 13 will make it home.
Thoughts on Apollo 13
Characters/Performance – All the characters are based on the real people, with Jim Lovell being the experienced astronaut leading the team of first timers in space. The characters are all real and made to all be heroes through this story, unlike most films of similar nature we don’t have anyone remotely like a villain in this film.
Performance wise Tom Hanks shines in the decade where he just didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. We also get brilliant performance from the whole cast playing the characters perfectly throughout the film.
Story – The story is one that even Hollywood couldn’t write, this is one if not the most famous story in space history that could rival the actual Moon landing. It shows how NASA could work in limited time to prevent disaster. You are drawn into this story for the whole film which is part history lesson and part edge of your seat thriller.
Adventure/History – Space travel became one of the most interesting parts of history in the late 60’s with the moon landing stealing the headlines, this story captures the idea to become one of the most important moments in history for NASA.
Settings – Outside the space shuttle all the settings including mission command all fit the time perfectly with the space shuttle being the highlight of the film because it shows how the men had nowhere to go to survive.
Final Thoughts – If you want to learn about one of the most amazing stories of survival in human history this is the one for you to see.
Overall: Breath-takingly brilliant movie about one moment in human history.