As you regular cinema goers will know, there’s a really annoying Kevin Bacon advert that’s shown before every. Single. Film. It features Bacon reprising various characters for a conversation with himself. They have to pick a film to go and see with the offer formerly known as Orange Wednesdays because despite being a Hollywood B lister, Bacon still can’t resist a 2 for 1. Here at ScreenGoblin we’ve taken it upon ourselves to watch the films from the ad and give you the verdict. First up:
Even if you haven’t seen Apollo 1 through 12 you can enjoy Apollo 13. Much better than the series low points Apollo 8: Wrath of Kodos and Apollo 10: The Wedding, it ups the ante with a lunar mission gone wrong.
In 1970, three years after the US government faked the moon landings, they faked a mission to the moon which went tits up to really throw people off the scent. Some foolish people without the time to look into the FACTS believed it was real and Apollo 13 is a dramatization of what’s *supposed* to have happened.
Helming the mission is schmaltz-merchant Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan), who’s hard to picture without a rousing score behind him. It’s also hard not to picture him as Vic Reeves’ impression of Lloyd Grossman once your realise just how big his forehead is. There’s more forehead than regular head. It’s ridiculous. He needs more than a fish bowl on his head, he needs a damn aquarium. I digress.
Apollo 13 shows that while the moon may not be made of cheese, this mission to it certainly is as it ticks all the boxes of a dramatic, death-facing danger mission. There’s the over-the-top score, a scene where everyone in the world seems to pray for the astronauts, and even a bit where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin show up to comfort one of the astronauts’ mother.
One way to get a little extra comedy value is whenever they talk to “Houston” (which is a lot) imagine they’re talking to Whitney. “Hold on, Houston”, “Say that again, Houston, “Houston, what do we do if we rip the bag? Do we tape it?”. She doesn’t know what’s going on.
Is it ruined by the Kevin Bacon advert?
Yes. Credit to the people at EE, they got Bacon’s costume in the advert spot on, but in casting spaceman Bacon as a doofus they make his character in Apollo 13 hard to take seriously. One benefit, however, it that this is 18 years ago, so Bacon looks a lot younger, and quite different from in that Kevin Bacon advert. But on the downside he looks more like that creepy child from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which creates a whole load more distractions.
Should I watch it?
Apollo 13 is good. It looks incredible, it’s well acted, has some brilliant zero gravity stuff and is very enjoyable. That being said, it’s quite different from Bacon’s astronaut character in that Kevin Bacon advert. If you see it with an open mind you should enjoy it, but if you expect more of Bacon’s spaceman from that Kevin Bacon advert you may be disappointed.