Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Nathan Parker / Duncan Jones
In Theaters: January 23, 2009
DVD Release: N/A
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I will never enjoy a contemporary Science Fiction flick. 9 times out 10, I leave the theater with a bad taste in my mouth. The genre has been beaten, stabbed, shot and set on fire so many times that there’s no hope left for it. In a world where Avatar is considered the pinnacle of Sci-Fi awesomeness, better than even Star Wars, you can’t blame a guy for being pessimistic, right? Well, thanks to Nathan Parker and Duncan Jones, I once again have faith.
Moon follows Lunar Industries employee Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) and his only companion, a robotic assistant named GERTY (Kevin Spacey). Sam is contracted to spend 3 years on Earth’s moon overseeing the automated harvesting of a valuable energy source, Helium-3. The Sarang Lunar Base is constantly plagued with satellite problems, and Sam can’t communicate in real time with his wife, whom was pregnant with his child when he left.
Two weeks before he’s set to return home, Sam begins to hallucinate. Shortly thereafter, on a routine rover excursion, Sam crashes, and somehow wakes up in the care of GERTY, whom is tethered inside the Lunar Base. After becoming suspicious of GERTY, he makes his way back to the crash site and discovers a clone of himself lying in the wreckage. Wackiness ensues.
It may not sound very interesting, but trust me, this quick overview doesn’t do it justice. The plot is full of twists and turns, some of which I think even Christopher Nolan would approve of. It’s very involving, and despite a lack of huge action scenes, it’s never boring. The ending neatly wraps up all the loose ends, and sets up the plot for a possible sequel. Moon is one of those rare movies that doesn’t end with a cliff hanger, yet leaves you craving for a sequel.
I’m a fan of Sam Rockwell, but I was apprehensive going into this. I didn’t know if he could play a serious role without completely abandoning his quirky sense of humor, but he pulls it off. Now, his performance won’t blow your mind, but it isn’t only adequate. Rockwell is believable and he makes his character easy to sympathize with. It’s easy to forgot that he’s not face to face with Kevin Spacey as he and GERTY pal around. If nothing else, this is his best role to date. Kevin Spacey gives a believable performance too; if only because typcasting him as a robot comes naturally. Has he ever played any other role?
In case you don’t know, most of our staff hate unnecessary CGI. If you’re anything like us, Moon will be a breath of fresh air. Nearly everything in Moon exists in the real world, from the lunar base to the lunar rovers. Jones opted to use models and entire 360 degree sets, both of which immensely lend to the movie’s believability. Some scenes are so well done that one might believe they were actually shot on the moon, and that’s no easy task. This movie was obviously a labor of love.
If James “Cash Money” Cameron’s Avatar is beautiful, Moon deserves an adjective created especially for it. Gary Shaw (Cinematographer) took a dark and dreary setting and made it a wondrous, beautiful place. From the sterile lunar base to the moon itself, everything looks fantastic. Even the darkest scenes look great, thanks to Shaw’s great lighting work.
Pretty much everything about Moon is great, from the acting to the cinematography. It boasts a solid plot, solid acting and great pacing. It’s also one of the few movies I wish were longer. Sadly, it’s under-rated and constantly overlooked, thanks to its limited theatrical release.
Moon is on Netflix, so if you haven’t seen it, you have no excuse not to watch it now. GET TO IT!
9/10 – Legendary
In the future, people will look back and say, “This is one of the best movies made that generation.” It might have a flaw or two, but is worth the price of admission, and much, much more.
Moon is a great movie. While not a true Sci-Fi Epic, Moon grabs hold of its audience early and never lets go. The only thing holding it back from being a Flawless Victory is its lack of action. I understand that not every movie would benefit from the inclusion of gratuitous violence. Sure there are a couple scenes with a bit of action, but Moon would benefit from having one or two more. Seriously, if you haven’t yet, watch it!