[box cover]

The Astronaut's Wife

The Astronaut's Wife makes its first mistake almost immediately, when it reveals the fact that it's a horror movie long before we're supposed to know. Numerous loud, jarring "shock chords" blast from the speakers when a certain character walks on the screen, as if the director is screaming, "BAD GUY! BAD GUY!" in your ear. The fact that we've been given no reason to suspect ill intent from the character doesn't seem to bother the filmmakers at all, and this overeager (or perhaps desperate?) desire to generate suspense probably tells you all you need to know about the story; after all, if the film truly were suspenseful, such lengths would hardly be necessary. The story, in a nutshell: When astronaut Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp) loses contact with NASA for two minutes during a space walk, his wife Jillian (Charlize Theron) fears the worst. Contact is soon regained, however, and Jillian breathes a sigh of relief — at least until her husband begins exhibiting unusual behavior after returning to Earth. In case you haven't already seen the "let's give the ending away" trailer, no more will be said about the plot, except that ol' Spence is, well... a changed man these days. The Astronaut's Wife is a spectacularly silly horror flick, and it probably can be enjoyed if you're in that kind of mood. The movie itself isn't likely to win any awards, but in the DVD's defense, the disc boasts a lovely widescreen (2.35:1) transfer, along with the film's trailer (which reveals so many plot twists that actually watching the movie itself seems redundant), and a collection of cast and crew filmographies. That's it, though. Not much value, and not much of a film either. Where's Mystery Science Theater 3000 when you need it? Snap-case.
—Joe Barlow

Back to Quick Reviews Index: [A-F] [G-L] [M-R] [S-Z]

Back to Main Page