Space Cowboys (2000)

(In theaters, August 2000) Two very different films in one. The first 90 minutes are a one-note comedy about old guys going into space. How droll. How implausible. Then, in the last thirty minutes the protagonists finally make it into space and the film switches gears to full-blown humourless technothriller with a pure-SF ending shot. Both movie are good; it’s the transition between the two that may annoy a few viewers. Otherwise, the film is quite enjoyable, with great performances by four veteran actors (Eastwood, Gardner, Sutherland and Lee Jones, though Tommy positively looks like a young man compared to the other three). The romance feels hammered into place, and doesn’t bring all that much to the film. Otherwise, the film is directed with a quiet self-assurance that is a welcome change of pace from the last few space techno-epics. Point for further discussion: The rise of the action films for the elderly?

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