This is a fantastic movie folks. Don't take my word, look at the cast. Tommy Lee "Visual Orgasm" Jones, Clint "Seventy and Still Semi-sexy" Eastwood, James "Jim Boom-Boom Rockford" Garner, and the man who spawned that stuck-up dick Keifer dude - Mr. Donald Sutherland.
Once again the "director" side of Clint Eastwood did a knock out job. Just as he's done in the past (Midnight in the Garden Of Good and Evil) and will surely do again. The characters (thanks to the casting) in Space Cowboys are likable, believable, and refreshingly, easy going. That is so unusual these days.
SC's story goes...Back, pre-NASA, 1958, the US Air Force was in charge of testing multi-million dollar hush-hush airplanes that could break the atmospheric barrier without, well, breaking up. The aviation predecessors to space travel. The USAF had a crackerjack set of fear-nothing guys, known as Team Daedalus.
So when their testing successfully proved the newest crafts could stand the pressure, they were a shoe-in for the first space exploration, right? Well, until NASA stepped in and the team's nasty Air Force commander/corporate climber, Bob Gerson (James " I was a rat in LA Confidential too" Cromwell) decided the job was better left to Marilyn the all-American chimpanzee. Team Daedalus was not to get to orbit. Not yet anyway...
Rocket forward some forty years to present day. A huge renegade Russian "telecommunications" satellite -Ikon- has lost its guidance system and is heading towards Earth at 2000 mph. The crash-down destination unknown! NASA has been called in to assist. They need to send someone up "capture" it and fix its guidance navigation before it gets here and goes kaboomy on some unsuspecting little neighborhood. But, there is a snag-a-roo. The guidance system the Ikon uses is so antiquated, they haven't got an engineer among them (let it go) that can handle the job. They need its designer. That designer is none other than retired Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), Daedalus Team leader from yesteryear. But, Corvin's not exactly a team player we're told by unreliable sources.
Gerson, the same rat bastard that bamboozled Corvin's team out of glory 40 years before, now a retired general and liaison for NASA, is knocking at Frank's ranch door. Sure, Frank will help...but it's going to cost them. The deal is, he and his original (old) team of aces goes into orbit. Thus, honoring a promise he made to them back in 1958, that the team would see the moon from Space. Gerson, without many options agrees, and the comedy and drama begins.
Now, the not exactly one-foot-from-the-grave, team has a mere five weeks to train for space. Each cast member is a tad older (I'm being kind here) so it's going to take the wind out of them as you'd imagine. That is except for that big old Texas size helping of perfectly aged sirloin man-meat, Mr. Tommy Lee Jones (the baby of the leads at 54). The other three average 70 (at least) a piece. So you can see the geriatric based gags coming. But, for an old pro like Eastwood, he delivers them as if you'd never thought of them. Also, the caliber of acting , again, glides through what could have been cream style corny. Very well done.
Will Team Daedalus get to the satellite in time? What is that jerk Gerson whispering about with the Russian General every two seconds? Will the boys have a heart attack in the simulator? And most importantly will Tommy Lee Jones please look me up for a night of many beers and general hootenanny?
Speaking of repressed fantasies. This Tommy Lee fellow is just the stuff a girl's 'lonesome cowboy in the big city' dreams are made of. Is he pure testosterone or what? He just gets manlier with every movie. I'd like to get him in a Polo martingale for a day! Mmm mmm.
They had a superb chickbabe in this too. Marcia Gay Harden (<- I'm not making that name up either, gay hard on-tee hee) But, she really should have refused the hairdo they stuck her with. It was so bad it was often distracting. You just know she's gonna look back at this film and cry with shame like at that old High school picture only 2 1/2 hours long , 30 feet tall, and 2436 theaters. Poor thing!
Space Cowboys was an expected treat. You can't go wrong with the people in and behind this movie. Bravo.
Snack recommendation: Freeze dried space burgers and vacuum packed beer.
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner and Donald Sutherland
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Official site Space Cowboys