The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 27, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Adam Goldberg

Riding the box-office success of Species, The Astronaut's Wife rocketed into production and was riddled with problems from day one. Essentially, the film is Apollo 13 meets Rosemary's Baby, sans the compelling story and skillful direction of the classic films it so blatantly emulates. Shot with heavy and glossy tones, the film desperately tries to look and feel "eerie," but audiences need more than creepy choral music in order to feel chills. The melodramatic and sluggish narrative simply lacks imagination, action, and character depth. While stylishly designed and photographed, first-time director Rand Ravich's film never achieves lift-off and his aimless effort quickly drifts into space. The second half of the movie is surprisingly devoid of suspense and intensity, lurching toward its predictable and anticlimactic conclusion. Johnny Depp manages to be the saving grace of the movie, while Charlize Theron simply rehashes her whisper-voiced performance from The Devil's Advocate. While both of the young Hollywood stars are easy on the eye and are dressed in impeccable wardrobes, they remain stranded within an empty narrative that offers nothing original. This vapid thriller may entertain a few sci-fi fanatics, but the majority of viewers will certainly think "Houston, we have a problem."