Moonfall is a movie that cost about $140 million, give or take, to make and it still looks cheap and lacks any excitement or thrills. Maybe we’re just realizing with the big studios to promote his movies as big huge blockbusters you just have to see, Roland Emmerich has never really had no idea on how to make a movie. He’s just an overgrown kid who likes to destroy things because he can.
Looking back, Independence Day was just a fluke in a mediocre career that began with him making movies about destroying major cities. Sadly, in the quarter of a century since the release of that movie, the alien ships decimating the central areas to New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. still look very impressive. Here, it looks like one of the mockblusters from The Asylum and yes, there’s scenes of people in rooms that looks like sets looking at screens of more action.
Starting off in 2011, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) are astronauts out in space fixing a satellite when an artificial intelligence technology swarms the space shuttle, knocking out Fowler who’s inside and knocking the other astronaut out in space to his death. Harper is the only one who can see what happened but NASA discredits him and he loses his wife and job as well as credibility.
A decade later, he’s about to be evicted from his house. Fowler has moved up in the ranks of NASA as Harper feels she’s betrayed him. But as usual in all Emmerich’s movies, something happens that totally changes everything. K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) is a conspiracy theorist and believes that the moon is a megastructure not a satellite. He notices that the moon’s orbit is veering toward Earth. And so does NASA but because we live in a digital information age, they can’t keep it under wraps.
The whole world knows and chaos ensues. This also helps the filmmakers hire less actors and use whatever resources they have available. I mean, they had $140 million that was mostly raised through independent finances, so they could have at least done a better job. For some reason, Donald Sutherland pops up in a useless cameo as a former NASA official who says they’ve known at this from the Apollo mission days but kept it under wraps.
With the moon set to collide with Earth in three weeks or so, NASA works quickly to use the shuttle Endeavor to go into space to drop an EMP into a hole to kill the artificial intelligence technology. But since they send the flight crew off to safety before they realize they can use the moon’s gravity with just two functioning engines, it’s up to Harper, Fowler and Houseman to do the mission themselves.
But wait, there’s more. Apparently, Harper’s wayward son, Sonny (Charlie Plummer) and Fowler’s son, Jimmy (Zayn Maloney) and his nanny, Michelle (Kelly Yu) are driving to a military base in Colorado from the Southern California coast. They make it as far as Colorado in less than a day apparently but they are carjacked by three people. But it’s all good because Sonny’s stepfather and mother, Tom and Brenda Lopez (Michael Pena and Carolina Bartczak) have his stepsisters at a remote compound there.
So, this provides us with the on-the-ground action, mostly at night, so the special effects crew doesn’t have to make as much stuff visibile. It’s not exciting because Emmerich has done this song and dance before in his movies. But the scenes with the moon are just as boring and don’t make the least bit of sense. Unless, you’re just making it all up.
When I saw Armageddon, I didn’t believe any of it was possible. There’s no such thing as space dementia. There’s no way Ben Affleck’s character could have started his own drilling company in less than a week and have it up and running. And there’s no way those working on the oil rig would have been scattered throughout North America so quickly. And even the asteroid having gravity made no sense as well as the fact that we didn’t see a lot of drilling as the movie just focused on the faces of Affleck and Bruce Willis arguing. Yet, that movie had a good promotional campaign.
When it’s finally realized what’s going on with the moon, I’m more confused than ever. Apparently, Earth’s ancestors billions of years ago were eradicated by a malevolent swarm of AI. The moon was actually a huge ark built to be in a new galaxy in the universe. But it was discovered by an AI that has been siphoning energy off the power source in the moon affecting its orbit.
Yeah, it doesn’t make a lick of sense of me explaining it and neither will it when you watch it, if you dare to. I would suggest you just watch Armageddon or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hell, even the 1902 short film A Trip to the Moon made by Georges Melies is better than this movie. The Tom and Jerry cartoon where he the moon is cheese and Jerry is eating it is more enjoyable.
What do you think? Please comment.