Thursday, 12 January 2012
Review: Apollo 18
Apollo 18 (2011)
In 1974, the US department of Defense sends a secret manned mission to the Moon. "Found footage" hidden for decades chronicles the fate of the mission and the real reason why man has never returned to the Moon since.
Some films aren't just bad, they're horrendously, gob-smackingly awful things fit only for jamming down the memory hole as fast as possible. Not only does Apollo 18 exploit a found footage gimmick over a decade past its sell-by date, but it uses it in service of a script that is not only a disservice to the men who risked their lives opening the lunar frontier, but uses the Apollo programme as the backdrop for a mash up of Alien, Capricorn One, The Blair Witch Project and a really freaky inverted conspiracy theory that claims that we did go to the Moon, but stopped because it's infested with spiders.
This is no spoiler because everyone who has an IQ above that of room temperature can figure out the plot in two seconds. An Apollo mission is sent "secretly" to the Moon to set up monitoring equipment of some kind. How you can prepare and launch a Saturn V rocket in secret is beyond me, but this is Hollywood. The two man landing team set up what they think is secret monitoring equipment of some kind, then discover a one-man Russian lander with a dead pilot and that the moon rocks they've been collecting are really spiders that somehow and for some reason infect people. This, however is never explained. Nor is the "startling" revelation that NASA knew about the spiders all along, yet sent two men down to... I don't know, feed the spiders? Your answer is as good as mine. Nothing is resolved and nothing makes sense.
Nonsensical, lumbered with continuity problems and plot holes, and exhibiting so much scenery chewing that it's a wonder the space capsules weren't filled with saw dust, Apollo 18 is truly lost in space.