director: Roland Emmerich (independence day, the day after tomorrow, 2012)
starring: halle berry, patrick wilson, john bradley, and kelly yu
REVIEWER: nick tonkin
A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit and sends it hurtling on a collision course with earth. A ragtag team launches an impossible last-ditch mission into space to land on the lunar surface and save our planet from annihilation.
Moonfall is the latest epic from the disaster movie meister Roland Emmerich who brings together another grandiose and bombastic spectacle with just enough cheese to fill in the plot holes. Moonfall is ridiculous, but certainly fun and at times even thrilling, with some of the key action sequences exploring ideas that are pretty dang cool.
An unrecognisable force shifts the moon from its orbit, causing it to gradually approach Earth; leading to incredible change upon the surface of the planet as tides change dramatically and the weather becomes increasingly hostile. With the world’s leaders clearly becoming increasingly unable to deal with the situation, it is up to NASA astronauts Jocinda (Halle Berry) and Brian (Patrick Wilson), with the assistance of KC Houseman (John Bradley) to stand up to the malevolent force driving the Moon to the surface of the planet and save all life on Earth.
Moonfall boasts a great cast, with leads Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry joined by John Bradley (Samwell from Game of Thrones), who all totally carry the film with it benefitting in no small way from their talent for rendering the cheesiest of dialogue palatable. Without these three, Moonfall’s flaws would certainly become more evident and probably a bit harder to swallow. John looks like he is having a great time in this movie, his enthusiastic KC Houseman is the charming heart of Moonfall and it is actually pretty nice to see KC get to experience his dream of going into space.
Unfortunately for Moonfall, some of its ancillary plotlines don’t lead to much and somewhat serve to detract from the action in the third act, instead of bolstering an atmosphere of tension and increasing stakes for the team in space.
While it is inevitable for a disaster movie these days to be just a big CGI-fest, Moonfall has some cool ideas to present, and grand as they are would absolutely have only been possible with CGI.
A couple of these scenes unfortunately aren’t quite as awesome in execution as they should have been (the Shuttle launching amidst a flooding landscape had such potential to be spectacular), but are still engaging, especially in a movie theatre with great sound to batter you around in Moonfall’s biggest moments.
Moonfall is an entertaining thrill ride though preposterousness, with some monumental set pieces and a great core cast that can handle whatever cheese director Roland Emmerich throws their way.