Good Night Oppy review: Mission to Mars is effective but loses focus on the way

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A sense of wonder, camaraderie and fulfillment fills the faces of NASA scientists as two spacecraft Spirit and Opportunity land on Mars. They land on opposite sides of the planet, ready to search for the presence of water, which would ultimately determine the possibility of life. According to the plan, the duration of this expedition would take no more than 90 days, but Spirit and Opportunity manage to stay much longer, providing important data for years. Spirit was able to do this for 6 years while Opportunity lasted up to 15 years. The human connection these two rovers spark with NASA scientists is at the heart of Good Night Oppy, the new documentary streaming on Prime Video. (Also read: Capturing Killer Nurse’s Review: A Morally Depraved System Is This Horror Tale’s Biggest Villain)

Directed by Ryan White (Ask Dr. Ruth, The Case Against 8), Good Night Oppy is an enthusiastic, big-hearted feature that often goes beyond the scientific core of debates to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of exploration. Angela Bassett powers through voice-over narration even as the director takes the help of animated recreations of the two rovers to provide the little hits along the way. Meanwhile, there’s a rich build-up of character through interviews with NASA scientists, as they recount the unexpected, life-changing bond with Spirit and Opportunity over the years. Chief among them is Senior Scientist Steve Squyres,…

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