An end-of-the-world disaster movie doomed to extinction
The end of the world is nigh! Well, according to director Roland Emmerich it is, judging by the movies he has brought to our screens over the years. If it’s not a giant lizard trying to stomp us out of existence it’s aliens, flying down from above to wipe us all out. And if it’s not something from outer space, it’s a worldwide storm that threatens to put us back into the ice age!
Thankfully, despite the apocalyptic nature of some of his movies, they have been rather fun. The same cannot be said of his latest release, however. While Moonfall is another ‘end of the world’ disaster movie, the CGI is bad, the plot is completely illogical, and the actors are given lines of dialogue that are as cliched as the plot points that exist during the story. In short, you shouldn’t expect a lot from this one!
The plot of Moonfall is hard to put into words. It begins when K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), an expert in megastructures, discovers the moon is about to fall out of orbit. This isn’t the result of some natural disaster however, as, according to the movie’s wacky script, there is the existence of another lifeform that has caused this catastrophic world event to happen. To say any more would move this review into spoiler territory so I’m not going to reveal who or what is causing problems from above but to be honest, you will probably rub your eyes in disbelief when you find out the answer.
With the moon about to fall to Earth, NASA sends two of its finest into space to rectify the situation. Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) are the lucky twosome who lift off into the stars but they don’t travel alone as Brian insists that K.C. should come along too. Why? Well, the moon is a megastructure apparently and not the giant piece of space rock (or cheese) that we have all been led to believe, so they need expert help in deciphering what is going on.
As the intrepid trio takes on this giant leap for mankind, they bicker with one another, take pictures of the universe with their smartphones, and gaze in wonder at the inner workings of the moon. Do they save the day? I’m not going to tell you but to be honest, you probably won’t care one bit about the outcome of this flaccid movie. You won’t care about the main protagonists either as they are all stereotypical characters that have been depicted in better movies of this sort before.
The story might be dumb but you would at least expect a few decent scenes of worldwide devastation to break up the confusing exposition and ludicrous plotting. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to see here. Yes, cities are destroyed and the world is overcome with ice and snow, but the CGI is poor and you never once believe that the destruction is real. The effects in The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 were much better than they are here and those films were made over a decade ago.
With the exception of the moon’s origins, there is nothing here you haven’t seen before. 3 heroes fly into space, with one of them being a comic relief character. Down below, their families do what they can to survive as they journey from A to B in the hope of avoiding a falling icicle or a flying piece of space debris. And TV stations show news broadcasts that keep people up to date on the fragility of their own existence. These are tropes that are common in many of Emmerich’s movies as well as the hundreds of disaster flicks that have preceded it.
To their credit, the actors keep a commendably straight face when delivering lines that must have caused them inward embarrassment, so they can be applauded. Despite the wooden script, they also manage to turn in good performances, with special mention to young Charlie Plummer (Spontaneous) who manages to give his character (the son of Wilson’s character) some depth.
But beyond that, there is nothing here to make me want to recommend the film! Locations look like sound stages, situations become increasingly more ridiculous, and the actors try to make sense of what they are doing while working out what to purchase with their paycheques.
This is Emmerich’s worst movie – even worse than 1997’s Godzilla – and is a sign perhaps that he should stop trying to destroy the world with the stories he brings to the screen. There are Asylum movies that are much better than this and if you have seen any of those junk movies, you will know what a scathing criticism that is!
Read More: Moonfall Ending Explained
Verdict - 3/10