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Review: ‘Moonfall’ Is A Stellar, Bombastic Throwback To The Sci-Fi Blockbusters Of Yore

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at February 3, 2022

When you think of films about massive disasters, chances are you think Roland Emmerich. Whether it’s an alien invasion (Independence Day and its sequel), climate change (The Day After Tomorrow), monsters (Godzilla), or solar-induced massive geological changes (2012), if you’re seeing a properly epic something that threatens to end life on Earth… it may be one of his. With Moonfall, Emmerich swings for the fences with a bombastic premise that effectively amounts to ‘what if the Moon punched the Earth in the face?’

In Moonfall we follow disgraced astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), NASA executive Jo Fowler (Halle Berry), and conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) as they attempt to find a way against all odds to halt whatever force is causing the Moon to break orbit and collide with Earth. Opposing them, of course, is a force unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The central players all unsurprisingly perform their parts quite well. Patrick Wilson’s embittered ex-astronaut has great charisma with Halle Berry’s Jo, and as seasoned performers you relate to both and find their heroics believable. The unexpected MVP of the outing is John Bradley. He has always had a strong, emotionally nuanced screen presence but here he adds considerable emotional complexity, earnestness, and pathos, characteristics which make his conspiracy-theorist-proven-right relatable and even charming throughout.

As a whole, the action sequences are visually interesting and the premise (which I love to think of as an informal sequel to A Trip to the Moon) is novel, brash, but enjoyable. There are certainly some shortcuts taken with the science of it all, but no more than most major Hollywood disaster films. The pacing is a mile-a-minute, with certain sequences in the final cut feeling as rapid as one’s own highly caffeinated thoughts. The dialogue largely works, with some individual lines feeling a little less original than desired, and some characters (like a particular character’s son) don’t have that much to do in the film, and regrettably could be omitted with little impact on the story other than cleaning up plot threads.

Here’s the thing… by all means it isn’t a perfect film, but at the same time it’s a fun, absurd, high-concept, loose-science throwback to the blockbusters of yore. In a world full of either big screen franchises OR original properties sent to streaming, it’s a perfect reminder of the past era where a person could simply go to the theater for something original, decently budgeted, and unique, and have a great time. For the kind of film it aims to be, it’s good (and more importantly, a good time). Moonfall is the exact kind of film we need, and if you can turn your brain off for a minute you’ll absolutely love it.

Moonfall releases 2/4/2022.

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