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Space Cowboys  

Frank (Clint Eastwood)
Hawk (Tommy Lee Jones)
Jerry (Donald Sutherland)
Tank (James Garner)
Sara Holland (Marcia Gay Harden)
Bob Gerson (James Cromwell)
Directed by Clint Eastwood Written by Ken Kaufman and Howard A. Klosner Rated PG-13 for language and brief nudity
Running Time: 123 minutes Distributed by Warner Bros.

Space Cowboys
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Space Cowboys is an adventure film that starts off strong but ends weak. In 1958, air force members Frank (Eastwood), Hawk (Jones), Tank (Garner) and Jerry (Sutherland) were aimed at being the first Americans in space. Unfortunately, they were replace by a monkey named Mary Anne. Now, 42 years later, NASA discovers a problem with a Russian satellite that only the retired Frank can fix. However, Frank will only agree to the mission if his friends can go with him. So, the solution to the problem lies in the hands of four senior citizens.

Space Cowboys is like watching Armageddon and Grumpy Old Men mixed together. There are some real fun moments in this film. But like in Armageddon, once the characters get into space, the film crumbles.

Ken Kaufman and Howard A. Klausman wrote the script for Space Cowboys. The first half of the script is sharp and the second half is a little sluggish. It seemed that the film was nearly two different stories. The first was funny and dramatic, while the second was an action space adventure. The writers do develop two effective plot points that give the film a twist and puts more pressure on the characters. Both plot points do their job, which is to change the characters' feelings and actions. I found the best aspect of the script to be the characters. It is irresistible not to like four grumpy aged men, one that has a short temper (Eastwood), one that is a daredevil (Jones), one that is a womanizer (Sutherland) and one that is a preacher (Garner).

Clint Eastwood held the reigns as director of Space Cowboys. Eastwood likes control over his projects, in which he wants the film to rezemble his mood and vision, and most of the time Eastwood is a brilliant director. Space Cowboys called for a new area of direction for Eastwood, special effects. Eastwood has directed over 20 films, but none of which have required computer-generated effects. Almost the whole second half of the film called for some type of visual effects. Eastwood tackles this area with patience and professionalism. He is truly one of the greats.

Eastwood also delivers one his better performances in the past years as the grizzled Frank. He almost always has the same colors with his characters, which are his sarcasm, eyes and burnt voice. But that is what makes Clint Eastwood who he is and the colors give a spirited mold to the character of Frank. Tommy Lee Jones also gives a strong performance in this film as Hawk. Donald Sutherland becomes a comedic scene-stealer as the senior citizen that loves young women. One of the better scenes of the film is when the four friends all have to get a physical before going into space. Sutherland just capitalizes the scene with his body language and maybe only one line of dialogue. The whole cast of this film is good, you can sense that all of them had a blast making this film.

Space Cowboys should not have a problem pulling audiences due to the loyalty of fans for Eastwood and Jones. It is worth seeing them and especially Donald Sutherland. Like I said before, the film slides more towards being mediocre than good, but still go see it.

Report Card Grade: B-

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