Friday, December 23, 2022


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2022
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer, Wenwen Yu, Michael Peña, Carolina Bartczak, Chris Sandiford, Jonathan Maxwell Silver, Eme Ikwuakor, Stephen Bogaert, Maxim Roy, Donald Sutherland, Kathleen Fee
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon Prime

Synopsis and Review
Director Roland Emmerich is back, following his big historical blockbuster "Midway". This time around he's gone back to another science fiction disaster film, which made him originally popular to begin with with "Universal Soldier", "Stargate", "Independence Day" and more recently "2012". The narrative for this film focuses on the relationship between two main characters, Jo Fowler and Brian Harper, who started as astronauts, but following a mission gone awry go their separate ways. Years later as the Moon's orbit is veering closer to Earth, Jo who is now NASA's deputy director, sends out a shuttle to the moon to investigate what is happening. That expedition is cut short when the entity who sabotaged the earlier exploration does so again. As the Moon gets closer and closer to Earth, more and more natural disasters start occurring, and Jo is finally informed that Brian was actually discredited when he detailed and recounted his version of the events that took place in their first expedition. She is informed that there is indeed an artificial swarm that has sabotaged those expeditions, and that the Moon is indeed an artificial megastructure. As Earth's integrity gets more and more compromised, Jo, Brian and K.C. (a conspiracy theorist who is also a friend of Brian's), manage to board a shuttle towards the Moon, in order to deploy a massive EMP and hopefully stop the Moon on its tracks, before completing destroying the planet. What they find at the core of the Moon however is beyond everything they expected. 
Roland Emmerich has become a skilled filmmaker in crafting these disaster films that try to be a mix of family friction stories in the context of larger natural disaster themed topics, which invariably threaten to annihilate the entire human race. Typically the problem with his films lie in the fact that the characters and situations which surrounds these humane touch points, are somewhat contrived, and the characters themselves are fairly limited from a dimension and motivation standpoint. That is indeed the case again with "Moonfall", which squarely places Jo, Brian and K.C. in the center of the narrative, each one of them dealing with family drama of their own, something that they have to push aside, in order to salvage humanity from its demise. The interesting part to this scenario, is the fact that the Moon this time around is an artificial construct, and the mythology Emmerich and his co-writers/plotters put behind this premise is not without some interest. Sadly that mythology building aspect is very limited, and the threat from that Transformers-like entity is also never entirely sufficiently developed to make the film and the action itself more riveting. The same applies to the characters which populate the narrative. Nonetheless, the film is unpretentious, and much like Roland Emmerich's previous features, it entertains with an underrated cast (including the always great Patrick Wilson), and some impressive visual effects. The cinematography from Robby Baumgartner is solid, as is the score from Harald Kloser & Thomas Wanker and the production design from Kirk M. Petruccelli. It's forgettable and not the best example of Roland Emmerich's storytelling abilities, but not his worst endeavor (at least not yet).