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.
Roland Emmerich is the king of the disaster movie and inexplicably continues to be given massive budgets to depict world ending chaos – it’s been 25 years since his last good one people! ‘Moonfall’ may be his worst, most ridiculous movie yet, with a premise that centres on the moon falling to earth (if you hadn’t guessed that from the title), requiring Halle Berry, Samwell Tarly and poundland Chris Pratt (Patrick Wilson) to come together to stop it from connecting with the earth. If that wasn’t ridiculous enough I’ll let you into the reason why this is happening (here be spoilers) – the moon is actually a machine and was created by a super advanced human society who lived on weird space rings many years in the past. Yes folks, someone thought this was an idea that would work and warranted $150m dollars of a budget to film!
Suffice to say ‘Moonfall’ is monumentally stupid, ridiculously plotted and has little to no internal logic that is key to making outlandish premises work. It begins by introducing us to astronauts Jo (Berry) and Brian (Wilson), who discover strange happenings on the moon, leading to an accident that kills their colleague. The authorities blame it on human error, leaving Brian to carry the can – effectively ending his career, turning him into a recluse and ending his marriage and relationship with his son. A few years later, a conspiracy theorist (John Bradley AKA Samwell Tarly) discovers that the moon’s orbit is veering closer to earth, and he manages to convince Brian to help him convince the authorities, who have written him off as a crank (I mean, who wouldn’t?!). This leads to two storylines – the aforementioned trio heading into space on an old spacecraft to stop the moon falling, and the families of Jo and Brian on earth trying to get to safety. Safety is Colorado for some reason, which is where everyone heads to yet is never explained (and doesn’t appear to be immune from damage anyway). Somehow, the action on earth manages to be even stupider than the action in space – special kudos to every development with Brian’s son (Charlie Plummer) for making this so.
I must confess I expected this to be bad going in and was hoping for a so bad it’s good kind of experience – who doesn’t love a good bad movie now and then? (note to self: must watch ‘The Room’ again). Sadly for much of ‘Moonfall’ it’s just so bad it’s bad although I’ll confess to a soft spot for Bradley’s conspiracy theorist who does add some much needed energy and levity, but it does switch to so bad it’s good in the final act which goes completely mental and did have me laughing in disbelief. It’s everything from the ridiculous shots that Emmerich clearly thinks are epic (i.e. the moon bobbing up and down like an apple behind the earth), the nonsensical decision making going on that would suggest the script was cobbled together in 30 minutes or less, or the paper thin characters who bend into different people whenever the script or story requires it. The script in particular is utterly dreadful – you could watch this film with your eyes closed so obvious is the dialogue in providing a running commentary of events. Show not tell people!
‘Moonfall’ is absolutely bonkers, makes not a lick of sense and has the kind of writing and dialogue that you’d expect to be ripped out at the note making stage, let alone the first draft. It did make me laugh at times, but make no mistake, this is a bad, bad movie and it will say a lot for modern society if it does well enough to let Emmerich move forward with sequels.
Directed By: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer, Michael Pena, Kelly Yu, Donald Sutherland, Eme Ikwuafor, Carolina Bartczak and Maxim Roy