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Film Review


Moonfall

Directed by Roland Emmerich
From: Lionsgate
Released: 02.04.22
Review by Julian Lytle | February 3, 2022 at 6:00 PM
D+

Basically: The moon begins to fall into the Earth and a disgraced astronaut, a conspiracy theorist, and a high-up NASA executive try to save humanity. 

Man, this movie is crazy. Moonfall is a very simple concept by Roland Emmerich that, during the two hour runtime, becomes completely complex for no reason. The story tropes feel like a throwback to Emmerich’s height of filmmaking in the 90s—yet not in the best way. Instead, Moonfall feels like the most expensive SyFy Channel movie ever made. This is a Sharknado type of movie but it’s played completely seriously, like it’s not in on the joke. The thing is though, Moonfall is terribly wonderful some of the time. 

Photo: Lionsgate

Back in 2011, astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) was on a mission with Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) when the Space Shuttle Endeavor was hit by something mysterious. However, everyone denied Harper’s story, which ruined his career. Fowler was knocked out and used to disprove Harper’s story to the public. Fast-forward to present day and we meet K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), an amateur scientist who finds some data that shows the moon is starting to change its orbit and is about to crash into the earth. He teams up with Harper and his former teammate Fowler, who is now a higher-up at NASA, to focus on saving Earth. That’s really the gist of it. 

Emmerich does all the things he does in his other movies but let’s just use Independence Day as a comparison. We have our separate heroes: a pilot, a scientist, a government official, and an everyman. All its desperate plots are tied together by the encroaching end of the world. Moonfall has all of that, which leads to a lot of bad line deliveries and dumb character decisions. The effects are very good and are an excellent use of budget. And I have to say that Patrick Wilson is very charismatic as a fallen astronaut. He’s a pure rough-around-the-edges hero guy. Halle, oh Halle, puts in the effort but her character is very lacking for who she is and what she’s capable of. I feel like Halle likes the sci-fi genre but hasn’t been able to work on a really good project.

Photo: Lionsgate

You shouldn’t think that hard while watching Moonfall, even when it gets fully absurd and tries to explain what is going on. On top of that, the movie dares to set things up for sequels. I am shaking my head. You should also note that a Chinese company financed Moonfall so it features some obligatory positive depictions of Chinese characters and the Chinese government helping save the world (but still not really saving the world ‘cause it’s still an American movie). 

I did have fun watching but Moonfall is not a movie to go to the theater and see during these times. Nah fam, wait for that VOD or maybe even that basic cable appearance. 

In the End: Moonfall is an expensive SyFy Channel movie that doesn’t make much sense. It is wildly over the top but somehow a bit entertaining. 

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