You’ve all heard the expression “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” Well, allow me to share my hairy, gaping opinion about the movie Space Cowboys with all of you good people.
It’s times like these that I wish our site was called moviesimambivalentabout.com. I am torn here. On one hand, I love Clint Eastwood as if I were his lifetime partner in an alternate universe where he was actually gay. I was the first president of the Rowdy Yates fan club, I named my first son Philo Beddo Froman, and I’m a crotchety old bastard who everyone says could pass as Clint’s fatter, uglier twin. On the other hand, Space Cowboys is a super-predictable cliche-fest that critics would’ve collectively cluster-humped had Eastwood not starred and directed.
Here’s the plot rundown: four aging astronauts (Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, and James Garner) must fly into space on the shuttle to repair a Russian satellite. Eastwood designed the satellite’s guidance system and is the only person qualified to fix it. He demands that his old (senior citizen) USAF buddies round out the team much to the chagrin of the mission director. There’s also a group of younger astronauts who resent the intrusion of Clint’s has-beens, and so the scene is set for all the old-age jokes you can telegraph (the three D’s — diapers, dentures, disease). There are also the mandatory “confrontation with the young punks in the bar,” “internal ‘grumpy old men’ infighting,” and “terminal-disease sufferer sacrifices love and life for the group” scenes.
Despite this film’s predictability, it was impossible for my centenarian self not to like these four codgers. Especially when they were schoolin’ some young astronaut ass at their own game. And Space Cowboys was entertaining and enjoyable on the whole. Hell, what more do you want? Any Which Way But Loose? They just don’t make ’em like that any more my friends.
Or maybe I’m just getting old.