1967: the height of the Cold War. The CIA suspects there is a Russian mole inside of NASA, sabotaging the Apollo program. They send two young agents on a mission to go undercover, posing as documentary filmmakers to capture NASA's race to the moon. The real mission - use their access and technology to hunt down the leak. But what they discover is far more shocking than soviet spies - Their government may be hiding a secret about Apollo that could define the decade, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence anyone who learns it.
R | Thriller | 22 January 2016 (USA)
Operation Avalanche is a fake documentary about the faked Apollo Moon landing
Sometimes all it takes is one scene for a movie to stand out. A single moment, concept, or shot can make the difference between something sticking in your mind indelibly, or fading from memory altogether. When you’ve got several of those moments strung together, you’re not only ahead of the curve — you’ve likely got a very strong film on your hands.
All of which makes Matt Johnson’s second feature, Operation Avalanche, so frustrating. Premiering here at Sundance, it’s a conspiracy thriller about the faking of the Apollo Moon landing that doesn’t just have one special moment — it’s got dozens of them, piling smart ideas and clever beats atop one another into a pastiche that should be a home run for anybody with a love of movies, space exploration, or just good old-fashioned X-Files government paranoia. Instead, it ends up being a little too smart for its own good, so enamored with the cleverness of its found-footage premise that it forgets to tell a riveting story along the way.
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