Friday, February 4

Moonfall Review


Dir: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Reilly, and Michael Peña

2h 10m


Since 1996, when aliens came to Earth for destruction in "Independence Day," director Roland Emmerich has destroyed the world in many different ways. In 1998, "Godzilla" destroyed New York City. In 2004, a storm plunged the world into the Ice Age in "The Day After Tomorrow." In 2009, global catastrophes annihilated humankind in "2012". And in 2022, the moon falls out of orbit and begins a countdown towards a collision with the Earth in "Moonfall." 


What adds drama to this big-budget disasterpiece is that the moon isn't what it seems. For Roland Emmerich, "Moonfall" feels like a combination of everything the director has thrown at the silver screen during the more than twenty-year cinematic exercise of destroying the planet. And the b-movie sensibilities of "Moonfall" are undeniable, and if you are a fan of this blend of science fiction action melodrama, the film will not disappoint. The special effects and A-list talent are simply icing on the cake. However, this film is not for you if you are looking for thoughtful social commentaries, insightful character developments, or anything holding obedience to the laws of physics. 


The moon has been knocked out of orbit by a mysterious force. Dishonored astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), who first encountered the mysteries of the moon during a space mission gone wrong ten years prior, and conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), who was first to discover the moon's orbit problem, is recruited by former NASA astronaut Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) for a humanity-saving rogue mission.


The events of "Moonfall" occur at breakneck speed; missions are launched, failed, and relaunched, tidal waves of water collapse on Los Angeles, people escape the coasts for higher ground in Colorado, and the collective goodwill of humanity turns dangerous in the background. These events all happen before the mission to the moon part of the movie. Between the breaks of science theorization, pretty much a screen of moon ellipses circling closer to the Earth, and cutaways to different parts of the world experiencing catastrophe, Emmerich and co-writers Harold Kloser and Spenser Cohen fill the small gaps with minimal character development and unnecessary side stories in an attempt to add some emotional gravity to the story. It seldom works. 


Halle Berry shows up as NASA administrator, the only person who seems remotely interested in trying to save the Earth. Berry is a confident actor and makes this character shine even though the underlying qualities aren't always on the page. Patrick Wilson plays a former astronaut fighting to save his family. Wilson plays the hero character throughout with ease. The best performance is John Bradley playing a conspiracy theorist much more intelligent than he may present with his silly ideas. Bradley provides humor and embodies the tiny heart of the narrative. 


"Moonfall" delivers on everything the trailer advertises; it's a special effects-laden spectacle that is aiming for nothing more than pure, simplistic entertainment value. And for that, the film will satisfy those looking for an escape. 


Monte's Rating

2.50 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment