Young filmmakers infiltrate NASA under the CIA direction to find a Russian mole, only to discover that NASA is not able to send a man to the moon just yet. To avoid the huge embarrassment for their country, those "patriots" come up with the idea to shoot a “fake” moon landing. OPERATION AVALANCHE is the “found footage” of their mostly funny, but at times scary ordeal.
The found footage concept was made redundant many times over, but seventeen years since “BLAIR WITCH PROJECT” it is still very much alive and kicking. The reason for the gimmick’s longevity is the way it makes the audience feel: what is happening on the screen is real. OPERATION AVALANCHE is not this kind of movie. Closer to BORAT than to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY it is a tongue in the cheek conspiracy theory exploitation that turns a little darker towards the end.
You have to admire the young filmmakers for coming up with such an original idea, and, frankly, there are some genuinely funny moments in the film. However the main problem with OPERATION AVALANCHE lies not in its concept, but in its writing. The plot is unfocused, and it seems that the team could not quite decide whether they were going to make a comedy or a horror movie. The finale is abrupt and unexplained. In the end there is a feel, that the team had run out of money, or ideas, or both at once.
I had a great time with OPERATION AVALANCHE. It is a little curiosity of a movie that will put a smile on your face, but apart from its intriguing concept and a few funny moments it has no surprises in store.
Director Matt Johnson was offered to premiere the film at TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL but he declined; He was afraid that the movie will not get the recognition it deserves among many similar movies;
Johnson shot NASA scenes on location. He had managed to infiltrate NASA pretending that he was a shooting a documentary, the same trick his characters use in the fictional movie plot.