In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Academy Award® winner Halle Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, “Midway”) and a conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, “Game of Thrones”) believes her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find out that our Moon is not what we think it is.
What We Thought:
Moonfall is the latest from director Roland Emmerich, the man behind Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, White House Down and many other disaster flicks. If you’ve seen his work you know what to expect, over-the-top action, heavy use of CGI, a preposterous plot and very little character development. I had heard bad things about the movie and after seeing it, I understand why. It’s not very good, but I still wish I had seen it on the big screen with a crowd like it deserved. It has its pros and cons and I’ll start with the positives first.
It opens very well. Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson and a third character are in space when something happens. The third character dies, Wilson’s character claims there was an entity involved, but Berry’s character had been knocked out so she couldn’t agree. Wilson becomes a laughing stock and Berry’s career continues onward. That space scene is very cool and I was hoping the rest of the move would follow suit.
Once the movie starts rolling along it loses track of that original realism. The moon somehow leaves its orbit and a conspiracy theorist convinces Wilson the moon is an artificial megastructure. It is getting closer to the Earth which will ultimately destroy the planet if it’s not put back into its normal orbit. Berry gets Wilson to fly in an old shuttle and brings the overweight conspiracy theorist with them to save the day.
Berry, Wilson and Game of Thrones’ John Bradley (who plays the conspiracy theorist) do their best with the ridiculous concept. I will say when the film focuses on them in space it is pretty good. It’s all ludicrous, but at least you understand it’s a sci-fi flick and it shouldn’t be believable. It gets deep into the history of mankind and what the space entity is and overall I didn’t mind that part of the film.
Unfortunately while they are in space there are side characters on Earth I simply didn’t care about. Wilson’s character has a son who gets out of prison, teams up with Berry’s babysitter and Berry’s young son to meet up with Wilson’s ex-wife’s new family. All while Earth’s gravity is being destroyed and tidal waves are taking out the West Coast. It’s all super CGI and there is one car chase sequence that is laughably bad. How does a movie today look worse than Emmerich’s work from the 1990s and early 2000s? It should look more realistic, but somehow looks more fake than a Grand Theft Auto video game. And other than telling me who these characters are, why do I care about them? They aren’t our main characters.
Moonfall was a disaster (pun intended) at the box office and I can see why. Going into it you know it will probably be pretty nonsensical, but this is preposterous even by Emmerich’s standards. The main characters/actors are fine and do the best they can with what they are given, but ultimately it can’t get beyond being just another CGI-fest with a ridiculous plot. I was disappointed in it and it doesn’t even get a so-bad-it’s-good recommendation.