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Moonfall (2022) – Review: A Silly and Endearing Experience

April 19, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – On the Roland Emmerich scale I give it a B – Moonfall is an absolute delight. Forget all the “biggest financial flop ever” articles and just embrace the absolutely bonkers film that features Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry and John Bradley saving the world from the moon.

Here is some advice and information I want to share with you.

  1. Roland Emmerich is the director and his last two films are Midway and Independence Day: Resurgence
  2. Just enjoy it. It knows it’s silly.
  3. It was filmed during the pandemic, which means most of it was shot in studios. It has a wild amount of CGI and it’s very noticeable. 
  4. A movie with such an insane plot has to be admired.

Moonfall is a movie that is really easy to scoff at, but if you’re able to get on its wavelength there’s a lot to enjoy. The movie focuses on what happens when the moon starts breaking apart and sending large chunks of debris hurtling towards earth. The only person who can save the world is Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), a disgraced former astronaut who got fired from NASA after he claimed a weird form of space goo attacked and killed his friend while they were working on a space shuttle. Since being fired, he’s spent his time drinking (He’s still in great shape though – like Jason Statham in The Meg), working on his muscle car, and being surly to everyone around him. He’s called back into action by his former coworker and friend Jacinda Fowler (Halle Berry), who was with him during the space attack years prior and didn’t fully back him up during the following investigation. Fowler needs him because he can fly old school spaceships that don’t require all the electronic bells-and-whistles. His expertise is important because there’s something on the moon that is wiping out all the probes and ships that have come near it, and he’s needed to pilot a ship that can get close enough to unleash a wicked EMP. 

Brian and Jacinda are joined by KC Houseman (John Bradley = pure gold), a likable maniac who thinks that the moon is actually a megastructure that is home to things more dangerous than space chunks (or the evil rocks from Apollo 18). He’s the one who initially brings the alarming news to Brian, and his presence provides some much needed comic relief. Together, the three of them are forced to avoid gravity waves, space chunks, and angry AI during their dangerous journey, which feels like every Emmerich film smashed into one movie (I’m not complaining). Moonfall is the type of film where sending an old school spaceship into space during an asteroid shower isn’t enough. The spaceship also has to contend with “big ass gravity waves,” earthquakes, and technical issues that make everything that much harder. 

What makes Moonfall so much fun is that it knows it’s silly. The plot is absolutely bonkers (I won’t spoil it), and nobody in the cast thought they were making an Oscar-worthy film. Instead, the cast is committed to the shenanigans and there is something refreshing about watching Berry, Wilson and Bradley headlining a $140 million budgeted film. I have no clue who thought this would be a success, but I applaud the filmmakers for making me smile. Toss in Michael Pena, Donald Sutherland (his son was a producer), and a group of pointless thieves, and you have an extremely entertaining experience. Props need to go to composer-turned-writer Harald Kloser (Midway, 2012, 10,000 B.C. White House Down) and Spenser Cohen (Extinction, Expendables 4) for dreaming up a script that piles up a Jenga-esque tower of insanity that never falls over. Their script relies on every cliché on the planet (disgraced person, self sacrifice, angry kid) but it still feels like a breath of fresh air. 

Final Thoughts – Watch it. Enjoy it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2022 9:41 am

    Thank you for another review of one I would have otherwise skipped. This sounds like a couple of hours of brainless sci-fi fun. I’m the definition of brainless and fun so I’m sure it will entertain me.

  2. May 1, 2022 8:23 am

    Totally crazy and absurd but delightful, just as you wrote.

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