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01 Mar 2016

Home Video Review: 'Last Man on the Moon' Puts Gene Cernan in the Spotlight Where He Belongs

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Gene Cernan in The Last Man on the Moon. Gene Cernan in The Last Man on the Moon.

You hear a lot about the first landing on the moon with Neil Armstrong—but surprisingly little about Apollo 17, the last manned flight to the moon, and Gene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the lunar surface.

This is the documentary the man deserves, thanks in part to his total cooperation. Cernan sits down for extensive interviews, taking you through his entire experience, from the NASA training program through that legendary walk. There’s plenty of amazing footage and photos, including Cernan’s failed spacewalk before Apollo 17, and him driving the lunar lander on the moonscape. It’s incredible stuff. Well before we had our smart phones and Internet, there was a guy up there, scratching his daughter’s initials into the moon’s surface.

This film touches upon plenty of topics beyond the moon landing, including Cernan’s marital woes and personal struggles, and how they were a product of the space program. What this man overcame to eventually take that moonwalk is mind-boggling, and the troubles he experienced afterward totally make sense.

There’s an incredible moment near the film’s end during which Cernan stands by the actual capsule where it rests today, and ponders the mannequin now sitting in his seat. He wonders whether anybody will ever visit the moon again, and actually gets a little frustrated. Then the movie simply cuts to Cernan fishing with his dog, trying to relax.

He has most certainly earned many a fishing trip. This guy was, is and shall always be a total badass.

The Last Man on the Moon is available on demand and via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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