“There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.”
I can think of at least 10 reasons why I didn’t enjoy Apollo 18, and although not without one or possibly two semi-interesting things going on, it fails hard, and on multiple levels . As the minutes go by, you’ll wonder how incredibly worse and cliché it can get. A jumbled mess at best, Apollo 18 still captured a little corner of my attention and imagination. Being a “moon” buff, I like all things Lunar, and hey, even though the movie pretty much sucked, at least I got treated to some pretty cool lunar landscapes and a tiny fix for my inner conspiracy theorist. What really kills me is that Apollo 18 could have been great! The fact that it made me want to rip the DVD out and frisbee it across the yard like Joey Cramer in The Flight of The Navigator tells volumes.
The film presents itself as The Blair Witch Project in space, complete with jerky camera work and creepy noises. The crew of the fictional Apollo 18 embark on a secret mission to install nuclear missile detectors on the surface of the moon in the event that the Soviet Union were to launch them against the United States. Upon landing, the crew start experiencing strange things including noises and footprints (begin eerie music…), although you’ll be hard pressed to share in the “suspense” or intended feeling of paranoia. Why? Because it’s NOT scary. Where Blair Witch worked, Apollo 18 burns to the ground. Problem is, these strange noises and 1 second flashes of “something” spooky is basically the entire movie. We don’t get the visual money-shot till the last 5 minutes, and even then it is entirely underwhelming.
The main problem with Apollo 18 is that it sets up one ridiculous situation after another, assuming that the audience isn’t going to notice or care. This in mind, you’ll soon lose any connection and/or concern for the characters, if you had any to begin with, and whose dull acting will leave you yearning for earplugs and a stiff drink.
I wanted this movie to work, seriously, I did. As a space and sci-fi nut, I look forward to anything far-out. Apollo 18 took what could have been a great premise and delivery, and screws it oh-so-badly. Would I recommend it? If your hard up for moon stuff or alternative moon theories…sure. But don’t go in expecting anything close to good. An alternative? Check out “Capricorn One” (1977), review coming soon.
1.5 out of 5