OVERVIEW | If you’re looking to have a silly fun time at the theater with a completely insane sci-fi plot, then I would highly recommend you go check out Moonfall. The special FX are crazy fun and I was lucky enough to see it in a Regal RPX theater. If you’re someone who likes to enjoy films that evoke emotional responses with elements that you can take away and reflect on your own human experience, then this is NOT the movie for you. If you enjoy good actor performances and well written dialogue, then this is NOT the movie for you either. I have a feeling this will be at the top of the list of many reviewer’s ‘worst films of 2022’ so far.
February 4 2022
Teetering on the classification of a Q-anon conspiracy fever-dream, Moonfall (2022) is one of the most insane disaster films I’ve ever seen. Not insane like, “wow that’s so cool”, more so legitimately insane, like whoever green-lit this film is actually crazy. Moonfall follows the story of a dishonorably discharged astronaut after a controversial accident in orbit that cost the life of one the members of the flight crew. There was an unidentifiable entity/organism that caused the accident, but NASA did not believe the story and instead blamed the entire accident on a single member of the team. Jump to 10 years in the future; we are then introduced to a disheveled conspiracy theorist who, by illegal means, discovers that the orbit of the moon has changed and a collision with the earth is set to take place. This conspiracy theorist then teams up with the discharged astronaut and thus begins the events that follow. The two are then invited by the head of NASA, a former team member of the discharged astronaut, to help save the planet from utter destruction.
Throughout the story, the crackpot conspiracy theorist begins to uncover more and more evidence that they were right the whole time when no one would listen to their theories on what the moon actually was. Society cast this person aside because every theory they had went against everything we thought we knew about the moon and our existence. There seemed to be drops of subtext throughout the film that may encourage people with batshit conspiracy theories to not give up on their quest for “truth”. As the plot progresses the “Hero” of the film ultimately ends up being this conspiracy theorist because they were right the whole time when no one would listen. Even though this film is marketed as a fun disaster movie, I feel like the story elements could be seen as dangerous within the realm of our current political landscape.
Outside of the problems I have with the way the story highlights potentially dangerous subject matter, I had a fun time at my screening. This is the kind of film that’s so bad it’s fun. The dialogue is over the top terribly cliché and makes it feel like a parody of itself. The relationships are built on top of toothpicks and there isn’t a structure to maintain strong emotional connections to any of the characters. I found myself laughing at scenes where a conversation or an event attempted to pull a heartfelt emotional response from the audience. Honestly, I just had a great time laughing, shaking my head, and rolling my eyes at the utter insanity unfolding in the story. The conspiracy and eventual truth of why the moon is falling out of orbit is way beyond anything you could imagine from simply reading this review or watching the trailer. I feel like the plot overcomplicated itself in theories deeply rooted in science fiction that the general population will struggle to follow along. They glaze over super complicated topics without any explanation and then follow that rabbit hole all the way down until the hole inverts back onto itself.
The director, Roland Emmerich, has made an entire career out of disaster movies and has given us such ‘great’ movies as Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and 2012 (2009). It’s hard to tell if Moonfall is the worst film Emmerich has delivered, but it’s definitely up there with the likes of 10,000 BC (2008). Unfortunately Moonfall lacks any of the charisma and heart provided in Independence Day. Given that Emmerich has created an entire career out of disaster films, the main aspect of this film that I did enjoy is the special effects. The ability to visually display world ending simulations on the big screen is something that Emmerich does excel in. The scenes where the earth is getting torn apart due to the moon being so close in orbit, is exciting and fun to watch. There are a lot of great action scenes where our side characters are trying to escape the havoc on foot or in a vehicle and it is extremely fun to watch these events unfold. I wish the film focused more on this aspect and showcased more disaster scenes. I feel like the focus was too heavy on the characters and their weak emotional journeys, and less on the terror the planet was experiencing with the moon out of orbit.
If you’re looking to have a silly fun time at the theater with a completely insane sci-fi plot, then I would highly recommend you go check out Moonfall. The special FX are crazy fun and I was lucky enough to see it in a Regal RPX theater. If you’re someone who likes to enjoy films that evoke emotional responses with elements that you can take away and reflect on your own human experience, then this is not the movie for you. If you enjoy good actor performances and well written dialogue, then this is not the movie for you either. I have a feeling this will be at the top of the list of many reviewer’s ‘worst films of 2022’ so far.