Capricorn One (1977)

Article 3443 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-9-2010
Posting Date: 1-17-2011
Directed by Peter Hyams
Featuring Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro
Country: USA / UK
What it is: Space travel conspiracy movie

Three astronauts discover that their planned trip to Mars is actually being faked by NASA, but are forced to go along with the sham because their families are threatened. Meanwhile, a reporter stumbles across a key to the conspiracy, but will he live long enough to follow it up?

Because I give no credence to the conspiracy theory that the moon landing was faked, I didn’t exactly go into this movie with a positive mind set. However, since this movie makes no such claim about the moon landing and sticks to a hypothetical Mars mission, I found it a little easier to give the movie a chance. As such, I found the movie a so-so thriller; the story doesn’t really hold up under close scrutiny (we have a conspiracy elaborate enough to completely eradicate any trace of the existence of one human being but find themselves unable to kill one lousy reporter) and much of what happens is far-fetched (especially the final chase scene). The script is occasionally very clumsy, and certain characters really strike false notes. On the plus side, I’m at least glad that the movie doesn’t bow down to every conspiracy movie cliche. Still, I really don’t have much use for this one.

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