Film Review: ‘Moonfall’ (2022)

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Stars: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley
Director: Roland Emmerich
Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors

“Are we dead?”

From Roland Emmerich – the director of the disaster – comes the latest extravaganza of the ludicrous: Moonfall.

Opening with chaos in space from the get go, astronauts Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) are ambushed by a mysterious black force – something almost reminiscent of Venom. Leading to the death of a fellow crew member, Patrick is hung to dry and becomes a shell of a man, whilst Jo continues working for NASA. 

10 years later, Brian is severely washed up and in an embarrassing state, often finding himself late for space talk sessions with children. Up in space, however, the Moon is in big trouble: it’s out of its orbit. However, the unlikeliest of figures to reconnect both Brian and Jo, and discover the shift in the moon’s daily orbit is KC Houseman (John Bradley): a big time blagger and conspiracy theorist, equipped with both a neckbeard and irritable bowel syndrome.

The consequences of this unthinkable event will have an indefinite impact upon the human race…unless former astronaut, Brian Harper, can get back up in space and save the day. The fatal threat to humanity is not limited to the Moon’s approach, but instead what is on the Moon…or even inside it. NASA’s hesitance over the re-involvement of Brian leads to a separate crew taking flight to space, but to their dismay, the black force from a decade ago has re-emerged.

As extraordinarily far fetched as that mission seems, that is exactly the concept for survival. Brian is the only one good enough to tackle the Moon with the limitations posed upon the changing environments on Earth and the lack of suitable technology. With the aid of both Jo and KC (yes, really), can Brian take a giant leap at saving the Earth and the Human race? 

Moonfall is batshit crazy. This is a film with next to no logic, but instead, pure sci-fi spectacle. In IMAX, this film is a thing of beauty. For the majority of the film, the special effects are – wait for it – out of this world. Of course, as expected, the odd CGI car here and there during a chase or too look somewhat ropey. Though the overall visual quality of the film is no match for the likes of the recent-ish Ad Astra, First Man and Interstellar, plus the classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the visual magnificence of Moonfall is certainly up there knocking on the door of elite level space cinematography. Equipped with an excellent score from Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser, their music further immerses the viewer into the ultimate spectacle. 

For Roland, this is a serious upgrade on much of his previous work. Probably his best since Independence Day, though arguably neck and neck with The Day After Tomorrow. The concept of Earth being finished unless a hero steps up – especially an American – is not as tiresome as it realistically should be. As an audience, we love to see the hero not only save the day, but the unlikeliest of odds be turned over in our favour. The wilder the concept and the challenge, the greater the triumph. 

Ultimately, one would be foolish to expect Moonfall to be praised for either its scientific accuracy or realism. In science fiction, anything can happen, and with the cinema of Roland Emmerich, it desperately needs to be remembered that the impossible can be made possible. More than just a daft as f*ck film, Moonfall successfully transitions back and forth between existing as a disaster film and alien film, even with a mild resemblance towards 2001: A Space Odyssey towards its climax. In the ugliest of ways, Moonfall is a beautiful film.

Moonfall is out now, exclusive to cinemas.

3 Stars


For John.

This article’s featured image: By Source, Lionsgate, Fair Use 

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