8 Movie Astronauts Who Are Lucky To Not Be On Apollo 18
Astronauts may go boldly into the far reaches of space without breaking a sweat, but even they probably shiver a little thinking about being in a movie like "Apollo 18." Audiences were mostly indifferent to it, and critics savaged it like it was an actual product of NASA. So these eight movie astronauts, regardless of their varying degrees of safety and ability to return home, are all lucky to be in movies better than "Apollo 18."
The "Robinson Crusoe" of "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" has a pretty tough time of it when his space ship crashes on Mars and the only survivor is his pet monkey. But before then, he gets to hang out with Adam West. And he definitely has the skills necessary to survive the harsh (although not quite scientifically accurate) Martian atmosphere. PLUS, his movie is now in the Criterion Collection, a true mark of quality respected by cinephiles everywhere. Can't say that about "Apollo 18."
Dr. Dave Bowman
Speaking of quality, how lucky would an astronaut have to be to be in one of the most acclaimed SciFi films of all time, "2001: A Space Odyssey"? Sure, he has to deal with a homicidal malfunctioning supercomputer in the form of HAL 9000 (he's the "Dave" in the famous line "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that") that kills off the rest of his crew, but still. Stanley Kubrick! What an honor!
Charlton Heston's character in "Planet of the Apes" doesn't spend a ton of time in space in the movie - just the opening scene before his spaceship crashes on the titular planet. But he gets into plenty of adventures while he's there, including meeting a beautiful mute woman, which is probably a common fantasy among male astronauts.
The Crew Of Capricorn One
The 70s were such a dangerous decade that you didn't even have to leave Earth to get into serious danger as an astronaut. Take "Capricorn One," which depicts the conspiracy to fake a mission to Mars in order to keep the money for the space program flowing. When the astronauts decide to come clean, they become targets of a conspiracy willing to kill in order to keep its secrets safe.
James Bond would probably list "secret agent" first on his resume, but in "Moonraker" he really does qualify as an astronaut, going into space in order to defeat megalomaniacal madman Hugo Drax. He even does what most modern-day astronauts never get to - fire a real-life laser gun. And the question of whether he's lucky not to be in "Apollo 18" - come on, he's James Bond. He's lucky not to be in anything other than a Bond movie.
The Space Cowboys
Clint Eastwood and some of his old-ass friends get to be astronauts one more time in "Space Cowboys," a gentle, warm, and funny look at adventuring in space. And they get to do what lots of older gentlemen would love to do: Show up the cocky young people who think they know what they're doing. Even Tommy Lee Jones, who's dying of cancer, gets to have a hero's death in order to stop a satellite from crashing into Earth or something.
The Crew In "Mission to Mars"
Brian De Palma's full-length homage to "2001" wasn't critically acclaimed by any means, but the reviews are a lot kinder than the ones for "Apollo 18." Plus, rather than just getting killed by rock monsters, these astronauts got to learn the secrets of the universe thanks to a particularly demonstrative ancient alien landmark.
Hugh Jackman in "The Fountain" isn't just an astronaut - he's a Spanish explorer, a scientist, and above all, a romantic. The astronaut is traveling in a bubble in the far future with nothing but a tree (this is a complicated film), but still, no rock monsters. Plus, who wouldn't want to be played by Hugh Jackman? He's so handsome!