Apollo 13 (1995) – Review

Less than one year since man first walked on the Moon, Apollo 13 should have been just another routine space flight, until the immense void of outer space had its say. Stranded hundreds of thousands of miles from Earth in a semi-destroyed spacecraft, astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) must fight a desperate battle to survive and reach their homeland, in this race against time drama. A solid cast lead this must-watch Sci-Fi for any space lovers out there.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton, Kathleen Quinlan

Based on true events, Apollo 13 is widely regarded by some, as one of the finest Sci-Fi films to hit our screens in recent times. Starring Tom Hanks, the film managed to notch up two Oscar wins and numerous other nominations upon its release in June 1995. The accuracy of the flick has been called into question once or twice throughout the years, but if you’re willing to allow for a certain amount of fiction to creep into the narrative, then you’ll more than likely enjoy Apollo 13.

The story, despite being extremely well known to most viewers, is compelling and the filmmakers manage to do a terrific job of bringing it to the big screen for millions to watch. For me, there were more than enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, with an engaging script put forward and some very likeable characters too. One minor criticism would be the one-hundred and ten-minute runtime, however. I did feel like the film took a little too long to get into the swing of things.

In terms of the cinematography and special effects, it must be said that these were better than most productions from the same era. Both cinematography and special effects being far ahead of their time on a technical level, is certainly a notion I’d agree with, especially when factoring in the outer space setting used for a large chunk of the movie.  

One of the strongest aspects of the picture would have to be the cast on display. Not only was the film spearheaded by Tom Hanks, portraying Jim Lovell, but it also featured Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton and Kathleen Quinlan in prominent roles too, with Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan receiving Oscar nominations in the “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” and “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” categories, respectively.

All in all, Apollo 13 comes across as a mightily convincing drama, made all the more engrossing when you take into consideration the true story element of the tale put before us. If anything, the filmmakers deserve credit for managing to generate so much suspense and tension, despite the fact that most viewers already know the eventual outcome. A great film and certainly one you should give a shot.

“Houston, we have a problem…”

Jim Lovell – Apollo 13

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