We’ve got to go back!
What can I say about Moonfall that hasn’t already been said about Liveleak? Moonfall isn’t out for another week, but your boy Conrad got the opportunity to attend an early screening thanks to my connections in the industry. I’m just kidding, Regal was doing an early show for Unlimited members this week and I’m pretty sure AMC did a screening for their investors. There actually aren’t any reviews as of the time I’m writing this, meaning I may finally get ahead of even the top Hollywood critics to get this review out. I’m just kidding, nobody cares what the film theory majors riding Roger Ebert’s coattails think.
Moonfall is the latest release by director Roland Emmerich, director such films as 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and Independence Day. If Roland Emmerich had gone into the restaurant industry instead of film, he’d no doubt be the owner of that Heart Attack Hotel, the burger joint where several people have died because they hook you up to an IV drip of pure horse lard while you eat. The movie is the kind of pure low-grade garbage that caused not one, but two groups of people to walk out of the theater over the course of the free screening. I guess they left the oven on. Me? Enraptured through the whole however long this film is.
They edited “fuck” to “screw” for the trailer.
Halle Berry plays Jocinda Fowler, NASA scientist working alongside Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) on what seems to be a routine refueling mission out in space, when suddenly their ship is attacked by an unknown swarm of alien stuff that kills their third and hops off to the moon. NASA of course doesn’t believe in Harper’s alien story, and kicks his ass out. Ten years later, the disgraced ex-NASA Harper is approached by K. C. Houseman (John Bradley), a conspiracy theorist who believes the moon is a construct by aliens, and who informs him that the moon is on a collision course with Earth. Something, or someone, has knocked it off its axis and they are the only ones who can save the day.
Bum bum buuuuuuuuuum.
This movie has literally everything your mind could want out of a Roland Emmerich film. Do you want an action flick where three cars engage in a low gravity high speed shootout while dodging meteor impacts, exploding vehicles, earthquakes damage, flying cars, and the gravitational pull of the moon? You got it. A film where at least two people shout the phrase “we have to go back”? Bingo bango bongo. How about a space shuttle launch narrowly dodging a tsunami destroying a west coast city while buildings get destroyed by all the big yachts being thrown at them? And what if at the same time a Humvee was narrowly escaping the tsunami in a high speed chase? Oh yea. And it all wrapped in a stupid cautionary tale about AI? Can you feel your brain arteries clogging yet? That’s the movie horse lard.
Seemingly every adult in this movie is dealing with marital problems, every child with parental issues, and every military person with chain of command conflict. As Fowler brings Harper back on board, along with Houseman, to figure out a solution to the problem, they’re racing against the clock. Assuming the moon doesn’t destroy the Earth first, the military is going to nuke it which the characters even admit is likely to kill kill all life on the planet anyway from the resulting debris and radiation. There’s a b-plot following Harper and Fowler’s families making their way to safety. Just hearing the phrase “the military is going to nuke the moon” makes my pants tight.
Michael Peña plays Tom Lopez, the dude Harper’s wife married. Donald Sutherland is there, because his part probably only took a day to shoot.
Moonfall is pure junk food theater. I’m rating it the dumbest film I’ll see in 2022 and it’s only the end of January. And I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy all two hours of it. Two astronauts and a conspiracy theorist fight aliens inside the moon to avert a global apocalypse and nuclear war. Absolutely beautiful. It’s like a platter of chocolate covered strawberries, if you replaced the strawberries with fried chicken and washed it down with a six pack of Orangina and then ate a full strawberry cheesecake at the end. Almost sickeningly satisfying.
Tencent is one of the production studios behind the film, and it seemed obvious that they stuck a Chinese exchange student (Kelly Yu) into the cast probably to get extra points for a release in China. There is also extensive advertising for Kaspersky throughout the movie including full-ass billboards facing the camera. Moonfall is one of the most expensive independent films to ever be produced, at $140 million and as a January release in the middle of a pandemic I have no idea where this film is going to go at the box office. But I know where it’s going to go in my heart; right next to the gum I ate when I was six. I’m also fairly certain critics are going to hate it.
Incidentally I made a mental list of some of the phrases used during the movie like “gravity wave” and they’re mostly all real. I didn’t come here for scientific accuracy, Roland.