Operation Avalanche (2016)
Running Time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Matt Johnson
Featuring: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, Josh Boles
I have a general weakness for found footage films, I think its that they are low budget and a throwback to the genre films that I loved since I was a child. I have found the best films are the ones that take an idea and twist it into something original – in fact the found footage aspect is just a way to tell the story in an easy low-budget way. So, the story has to be very strong for these kinds of movies to even have a chance of working. In this case I do not think that thresh hold has been reached – close but not quite.
The movie is about two CIA agents infiltrate NASA to expose a potential mole. There, they find that NASA has kept their inability to reach the 1969 deadline for the Apollo 11 Moon landing a secret. They subsequently become involved in a plot to fake it.
This is neither a documentary nor a mockumentary, but is not a narrative film either, as it pretends to be a found footage film – or at least something that has been edited together to feel like it was made in a cinema vérité style. What this film does is take two facts, there is a place called NASA, and, that they wanted to send people to the moon. Where it deviates and borrows (I am being kind) from other sources is the conspiracy theory (that has existed for years) that the moon landing was faked and that somehow Stanley Kubrick was involved – they have then created a chase movie around this as a narrative and plot device.
As a recommendation I would say that this film is really not worth owning and if you see it on a streaming service and want to watch something as a distraction then this is the movie for you. I think it is decidedly average for its genre, it breaks no new ground and when boiled down there is nothing original about it. In fact a better narrative film was made in 1977, “Capricorn One” which was when conspiracy movies were everywhere, it has a great cast, even has O.J. Simpson in a good film – before he became a novelty act.
Released 15th February 2017.