Operation Avalanche (2016) Movie Review

Operation Avalanche was released in the U.S. on September 16, 2016 and was directed by Matt Johnson. This is different than most films as it is a “mockumentary” and it was definitely filmed in some very unconventional ways.

The start of this movie is seeing our two main characters Matt Johnson and Owen Williams go to NASA. They are CIA agents and their job is to find the potential mole from the Soviet Union. While listening to a phone call they discover that NASA won’t be able to make it to the moon and they come up with the plan of faking it. They then begin to film the moon landing and start to experience a lot of paranoia and feel like someone is watching them. They face many problems and a lot of chaos throughout and after filming.

Matt Johnson wrote, directed, and starred in this movie. He was getting his master’s degree and this movie was actually his master’s thesis. This film has old videos directly from NASA, but it also has footage from when he actually visited NASA. He had told them that he was making a movie about NASA in the 1960’s… forgetting to mention that it was actually about the conspiracy that the moon landing was faked. That would probably be why his character in the movie is named Matt Johnson, as he had to give a real name in order to meet with them. He has also stated that he doesn’t actually believe that the moon landing was faked, but either way it is still a great story.

The two most prominent cast members in the movie were Matt Johnson and Owen Williams. They both kept their names and were playing themselves. They had a certain charm about them that seemed like they were from the 60’s. I thought that they did a good job considering their roles required them to be knowledgeable about both film and space. They both carried the movie and made it worth a watch. Josh Boles was really the only other main character in the movie. He was in charge of Johnson and Williams in the filming of the fake landing. He did a good job of seeming very stern and sometimes pretty rude. If the acting in this film would have been sub-par then this story wouldn’t have even been worth watching.

There were several things that I really enjoyed about this movie. First, was the grainy and old-like film that they used. It really made it seem like it was actually filmed in the 1960’s and I thought that was a great touch. The next thing that I enjoyed was the pacing of the movie. They started it off perfectly and then they kept a good pace throughout until pure craziness at the end. There was also a really awesome car chase which I was not expecting at all! The amount of time they must have spent researching for this movie is also very outstanding. They made a film that is honestly pretty convincing in it’s statement that we faked the moon landing. I believe that we have been to the moon, but just the concept of faking it has always interested me. Therefore, I think Matt Johnson did a good job of employing this concept that hasn’t really been explored in a full movie before.

I guess my only minor complaint of Operation Avalanche is that it really isn’t very rewatchable. It is very interesting to see the first time, but then when you know everything that happens it is a little boring. Not a huge complaint as it has nothing to do with the director or cast, but rather the story itself.

I really enjoyed this movie and I think that anyone could like it. You don’t have to believe the theory as even Matt Johnson said he isn’t really a “conspiracy theorist”. In the end, it is just an entertaining movie.

Rating- 8 out of 10 on the scale of awesomeness. Matt Johnson has a lot of promising talent and created a very intriguing film.

Thank you for reading this review and feel free to comment what you thought of Operation Avalanche. You may also suggest any other movies or TV shows that you would like to see reviewed or ranked. Cinema lovers unite!

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