We gave it a B-
Tom Hanks is back on the moon. Hollywood’s official Curator of Former Glories made perfectly noble green-cheese runs in Apollo 13 and the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, so it’s not shocking to see him co-producing and narrating what could pass as a very pretty ad for Lockheed Martin, shot in the dizzy vastness of IMAX 3-D. Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D aims for the junior stargazer in a release coinciding with NASA’s new moon-by-2018 initiative. The movie is unmistakably a pitch, and an honorable one. But to begin by dismissing cranks who say the walks were sleekly faked, then present a sleekly faked moonwalk (punctuated sporadically with actual lunar photography) seems to reinforce the culture of unreality that reduces major endeavors to CG reenactments and distances us from the very greatness we seek to recapture. Perhaps if Desolation hadn’t skimped on the science in its race to grab kids’ eyeballs, it might’ve grabbed a couple of future astronauts by the brain.