DVD review: Operation Avalanche (4 out of 5)

One of the biggest conspiracy theories down the years has been that we never actually got to the Moon - it was all a big show put on so the USA could beat the Russians in the space race.

Operation Avalanche
Operation Avalanche

Total nonsense, of course, but it’s made for some half-decent film ideas.

And here’s another one - except Operation Avalanche has a lot more going for it.

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It’s the creation of Matt Johnson, who stars, writes, directs and produces this wonderfully crafted thriller.

Johnson, along with co-writer Josh Boles, were behind 2013’s The Dirties which picked up a fair bit of praise.

Avalanche has a similar rough and ready feel to it, with its hand-held footage, but is well thought out and draws the audience into the lives of its main characters.

Johnson and Owen Williams play two young CIA agents (no character names, they just their own) who are investigating a possible Russian mole inside NASA in 1967, the height of the Cold War.

They pose as documentary film makers but reveal far more than they bargained for and discover that the Russians may not be the ones they have to look out for.

There are thrills and shocks along the way and Johnson creates a tangible feeling of danger.

There’s also a real 60s atmosphere and a throwback to those spy movies of the decade.

Johnson rarely takes an obvious route, which is refreshing, as he tells his story.

Operation Avalanche is a compelling story, told with obvious enthusiasm and an obvious love of film-making.

Lionsgate UK presents Operation Avalanche, available on Digital and DVD.