Moonfall (2022)

Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen
Cast: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer, Michael Peña, Carolina Bartczak, Chris Sandiford, Jonathan Maxwell Silver, Eme Ikwuakor, Donald Sutherland
Seen on: 14.2.2022

A few years ago, Brian (Patrick Wilson) and Jo (Halle Berry) were a team – in space, no less. But after a terrible accident after which Brian claims to have seen something inexplicable, unbelievable, he was discredited, while she went on to rise in the ranks at NASA. Now something is wrong with the moon though, and megastructuralist KC Houseman (John Bradley) who is convinced that the moon is a built mega structure is the first to figure it out: the moon is off its orbit. And it will collide with the earth if it isn’t stopped. But nobody wants to listen to KC, not NASA and not even Brian who KC tries to get to help. Who will be able to save the world?

Moonfall is one hell of a film. It is so completely out there, it’s basically its own megastructure orbiting the earth. And that makes it a whole lot of fun – at least as long as you don’t take it seriously for even a second.

The film poster showing a giant moon next to a small earth. There is a hole in the moon that hints at a built structure.

Moonfall is the kind of film that seems to ask the question “what if conspiracy theories are true?” but is bored with most conspiracy theories, and so goes with the most outlandish one it could find. And then it just dials it up to 200, This means, on the one hand, that nobody can accuse it of playing into the hands of conspiracy theorists, and on the other hand, it constantly left me open-mouthed and wondering as it revealed layer after layer of its concept.

There is no serious moment of reflection, really, about what would happen in an emergency or “what would you do at the end of the world?” The film doesn’t have time for this – it’s too busy blowing shit up and removing gravity from the world. And that makes it a great load of fun.

Jo (Halle Berry) and Brian (Patrick Wilson) standing in front of a crashed space shuttle.

I also really liked that the film doesn’t really have bad people in it (apart from a couple of minor characters). Everybody here tries to do their best, and even if their decisions aren’t always great, they’re the best that they can do at the moment. I think this is a lovely view of humanity – and one that is so much more true than the cynic “people are rotten to the core” take that we encounter so often.

And I really liked that the film takes its time to really ogle Patrick Wilson. I definitely understand and appreciate the impulse, and it is a breath of fresh air to not have a female character objectified that way (but don’t worry, he isn’t objectified nearly as much as female characters usually are).

In short, the film is a gift to popcorn cinema like I haven’t seen in a while. Yeah, there were a couple of lengths in the middle third, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

KC Houseman (John Bradley) looking out the window of a space shuttle.

Summarizing: check your brain at the door and bring some popcorn – you’ll have the time of your life.

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