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Click for full size poster

The Astronaut's Wife

Starring Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron;
Nick Cassavetes, Clea DuVall, Blair Brown
Written and Directed by Rand Ravich
website: www.astronautswife.com

IN SHORT: Dreadful. [Rated [R]]

A hundred and twenty five miles above Earth, in the icy cold clutches of Space the final frontier, a poor astronaut gazes into the inky blackness and screams in terror "What The Hell Was That???????"

Sorry, that was the critic sitting next to me, as the closing credits rolled on The Astronaut's Wife, a film so terrible that those of us who make our livings sitting through terrible movies were almost spared the pain by the nice folks at the movie studio, who wouldn't screen it for us. But you've got to have a streak of masochism a mile wide to do this job so there we were at ten in the morning, watching Johnny Depp do a Southern Accent as Space Shuttle Victory Astronaut Spencer Armacost. With his lovely schoolteacher wife Jillian (Charlize Theron) doing her duty on Planet Earth, this high flying cowboy blasts off into the sky to do some satellite slinging or somesuch astronaut stuff. Then, everything goes fuzzy for two minutes and NASA is sending out officers to reign in the potential widows. No one is exactly sure what has happened up on Victory, only that something may have "attacked" or overtaken the ship, and that the two astronauts who were on the outside lie at death's door.

Thus begins The Astronaut's Wife, a would be tale of tense thrills and psychological manipulation, alien attack and marital murder, suicide and terror of the non-existent kind. You can't have tension without tension. You can't have thrills without thrilling actions. You can't psychologically manipulate unless you give the audience a clue. If you can't do any of that, as writer/director Rand Ravich shows in his bigscreen debut, you should bend over and take your whacks for subjecting the public to drek of the highest order.

If you don't define Evil, there is no evil. If you don't demonstrate why the bad things happen, then we see senseless violence. Forget the violence, this flick is packed with senseless stuff. Simply, there are no surprises in this movie. Everything you've already been exposed to in the television commercial is, basically, it. The main characters are so woefully underdeveloped that, when we see one of the support characters crash and burn almost before our eyes (and this is one of the few times Cranky found himself wishing for a little slice 'n' dice) we don't care.

For once, Depp can't make an ordinary character unusual -- since he normally goes the other way around. Ravich's crew has also done the almost impossible by making Charlize Theron not cute. Yeah, I know that the grammar in that last sentence is incorrect. This whole damned film is incorrect.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Astronaut's Wife, he would have paid...

$0.00

Such a waste of time I can't tell you. Feh.

Click to buy films by Rand Ravich
Click to buy films starring Johnny Depp
Click to buy films starring Charlize Theron

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.