For better or worse (worse, mostly), the dreaded “found footage” gimmick of films such as Cannibal Holocaust or The Blair Witch Project has blossomed into a full-fledged genre in the new century. It shouldn’t have, but movie producers just love the low production cost and how the jumpiness is compatible with their coked-up attention deficit disorder.
But Apollo 18 takes the potential stupidity of the “genre” to new heights- and I don’t mean up on the moon either.
Inspired by the famously “cancelled” moon missions (partly abandoned because no one was watching), this ludicrous bit of alternate history (the missions were recycled into the Skylab project), purports that we sent another mission to the Moon to do some hush-hush work only to encounter a failed Russian moon landing and a nasty case of lunar lice (“moon crabs”) masquerading as rocks and patienly waiting for millions of years for some air-breathing mammals to chance by (In defiance of both Darwinism AND “Intelligent Design”).
It took me hours to sit through this P.O.S.
I had to take long breaks to go bang my head on a wall and take deep breaths before starting up the damn thing again.
OK. So let our suspension of disbelief take over (It’s easier on the skull). Let’s just accept that goofy premise (that, frankly, makes Jaws 4 sound like Gone with the Wind) and the fact the moon nasties make noise that carries in the (non-existent) moon atmosphere. Then what?
Then I still can’t swallow this film because of the sheer number of coverage, via camera angles and setups this so-called “found footage” has… Or the fact we get to see “surveillance footage” inside the Lunar Module while the guys are out on a moonwalk…. Or the fact video cameras produce camera flares and scratches…Or that a film camera somehow films its own film running-out inside the camera- sprocket holes and all.
Of course there was a mix of cameras on Apollo missions but the film cameras had to be used sporadically as they had a very finite supply of film and the video cameras did not record but transmitted the images. But if you are going to use that gimmick, make sure you know the difference between film and video, if only for the sheer bulk of film: If they went ahead and filmed all the stuff seen on “film” footage in this, they would’ve needed a second vehicle just to store all the film stock.
SPOILER? NO! FAIR WARNING!
And if that’s not stupid enough, in the climax of the film, the lone survivor climbs aboard the Russian lander which also starts filming/taping the action from numerous angles. And although that vehicle is destroyed in flight, we somehow found that footage too?
Note to stupid producers: IF YOU’RE GOING TO CLAIM FOUND FOOTAGE- FIGURE OUT A WAY WE COULD’VE FOUND SAID FOOTAGE IN THE FIRST PLACE!
PAIN LEVEL: 9/10
QUALITY OF PAIN: You’ll wish this movie was a hoax and had never been made. I mean it. It sucks harder than a Zero-G toilet.
PAINJOYMENT™ INDEX: Incredibly Slow. Boring and infuriating? Yes. Enjoyable as a “guilty pleasure”? No!