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Moonfall

The Moon has fallen out of orbit, and scientists and NASA executives race against time to figure out a way to put it back in its orbit. Sounds crazy? Well, this movie is definitely crazy.

[This review is light on spoilers.]

Moonfall, the latest doomsday film from Roland Emmerich, has a lot of elements you have already seen in other Armageddon movies. An underdog, comic-relief scientist no one listens to; the government getting in the way instead of helping; the annoying teenager who you'd rather be left out of the story altogether; the generic family drama that is not really relevant; said family staying out of the bunker and fighting for their lives while chaos ensue; a disgraced worker who turns out to be the hero; and the plan to save the Earth having "suicide mission" written all over it.

And yet, there is a spin to some of those elements that keep the story alive and the movie entertaining enough. The teenager stops being annoying halfway through; no unnecessary angst is squeezed out of the family drama, in fact, it ends in a quite meaningful way; and the underdog scientist's arc is a hoot, albeit improbable. Well, it's a movie about former astronauts trying to put the Moon back in its orbit, so improbable is all Moonfall is about.

I worried that the movie would lose me when it decided to go full-on sci-fi. I remember being disappointed when Interstellar went off the rails with its transcendental take on love as a solution for the big problems. But Moonfall never aims for prestige sci-fi, so it couldn't really disappoint in that department. It still needed to make its premise viable, though, as in how the hell does the Moon fall out of place. Trust and believe, the filmmakers go nuts with the explanation. But it kind of makes sense! In a pseudoscience combined with conspiracy theories kind of way, but it does! The more they went in, the more I thought, "Okay, I buy it." Not only that, but if you drop the doomsday angle and make the big reveal the premise of the story, you'd have a pretty cool sci-fi epic. Hey, can they spin that off and make a TV series? I'd watch the hell out of it.


As far as performances go, the film is solid. Halle Berry anchors the story as Jocinda Fowler, a NASA executive and former astronaut who doesn't give up on finding a viable solution to the crisis, no matter how absurd the crisis and the solution are. There was one scene I was like "girl, emote," but I nitpick, Berry does deliver a good performance. Patrick Wilson plays Jocinda's former partner, fired astronaut Brian Harper, who is attacked by the Phoenix force in the beginning of the movie (no, seriously, the first scene of the movie is very Dark Phoenix meets Gravity), but no one believes him. Wilson's Brian has lots of charm and is more emotive, a nice contrast to the pragmatism of Berry's Jocinda. The duo plays off each other well, and the history between the two characters adds relevance to their inevitable alliance, but the movie could have explored that better. Finally, John Bradley steals the scene with his KC Houseman, a conspiracy theorist who happens to be smarter than all official scientists out there. KC is fun and made me laugh out loud several times. His character arc is as ridiculous as it's awesome, and that description is also the movie in a nutshell.

Moon Pieces

- Everybody goes to Colorado. What's in Colorado? A major bunker?

- As expected, there are people who, during the collapse of civilization, do whatever it takes to survive, including some bad things. I really wanted the good guys to just have no mercy and kill them, keeping them alive always means trouble. I think watching The Walking Dead has made me crueler. Bring on the apocalypse.

- A scene involving the military near the end of the movie, supposed to elevate tension, comes out of left field and adds nothing to the story. I wish they had edited it out.

- The visuals are stunning. The images of a giant Moon in the horizon and the sea's water unplugging from Earth were two of my favorites.

- Don't watch the trailer, it's way too spoilery. I'm glad I only watched it after the movie.


Two and a half out of four structures.
--
Lamounier

5 comments:

  1. The Walking Dead has made me crueler. Lol, Lamounier. :) Awesome review.

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  2. I saw this with a friend and we were cackling the entire time. Great review for a real trip of a movie.

    'My ex-wife is up there.'

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  3. The Stargate is in Colorado! Uh I mean.. the Cheyenne Mountain-complex

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  4. This movie sounds so silly. I'm excited to watch it!

    In The Stand, everyone goes to Colorado, too. I think Colorado may also be the secret base of operations (it's literally underground) in Heinlein's "If This Goes On--," about a revolt against American tyranny.

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  5. i love this movie its so trippy and has ancient aliens written all over it

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