Higher-level physical and cognitive skills can still remain intact, and age matters less than the character of the person performing the job.
The underlying theme of the film is that it is never too old to realize your dreams, even dreams about achieving physical excellence in feats that even many young men cannot achieve. Corvin and his comrades were dismissed at the beginning of their careers because of their independent attitudes. Despite their age, they are recalled to duty, and they appear to be just as defiant, if not more so, than before. The film underlines the fact that the men have changed little in character since their early days at NASA. Corvin is still working for the organization, and is equally irascible as when he was when a young man. Another of his friends went on to become an electrical engineer; a former pilot works as a crop duster; another engineer designs roller coasters, and the final member of the team is a Baptist minister.
While most of Corvins old crew has moved on with their lives, clearly all still harbor a love of risk-taking.
Even sexually, the film tries to bust stereotypes by showing the older men just as interested and as capable with the opposite sex when they were young. Although aspects of the film clearly have fantastic elements, many of its lessons are genuinely valuable in the manner in which it emphasizes that a persons age should not subsume his still-existing gifts and what he has to offer to the world.
Space Cowboys. (2000). Directed by.