Space Cowboys

Clint Eastwoodwho directed and stars in this adventure, about four long-in-the-tooth former air force pilots who convince NASA to send them into orbit to fix a Russian satellitesuggested at the time that it would be his last feature. We’re lucky it wasn’t. Apart from some strained cold war nostalgia contrived to churn up suspense over whether, in effect, the commies still intend to nuke us, this is an unpretentious action comedy about aging, with several backward glances at Eastwood’s previous films. (Is that monkey in the opening sequence a mere coincidence?) The special effects are beautifully handled and the reflections on death attractively peaceful. Eastwood’s fellow pilots are Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, and Donald Sutherlandall fairly relaxed, as are Marcia Gay Harden, William Devane, Loren Dean, Courtney B. Vance, and James Cromwell; Ken Kaufman and Howard Klausner are credited with the script (2000). 129 min. (JR)

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