The Movie Waffler New to Prime Video - MOONFALL | The Movie Waffler

New to Prime Video - MOONFALL

moonfall review
The moon leaves its orbit and begins a catastrophic descent towards Earth.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Donald Sutherland

moonfall poster

In 1902 French filmmaker Georges Méliès took us on a trip to the moon. 120 years later German filmmaker Roland Emmerich is bringing the moon to us. Moonfall has a setup that wouldn't be out of place in the midpoint between those two dates, the golden age of sci-fi cinema of the 1950s and '60s, when smart men loosened their ties and figured out to save the planet while smart women made them coffee.

The moon has left its orbit and is on a collision course with Earth. Our planet's brightest minds have three weeks to come up with an answer before the giant ball of cheese comes crashing down on us.

moonfall review

As is usually the case, the American military decides the best course of action is to nuke the shit out of the moon. Seeking a more level-headed solution are NASA bigwig Jocinda Fowler (the backwards aging Halle Berry) and disgraced former astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson). A decade earlier, the two were involved in an outer space incident that left a third crew member dead when a load of space shite collided with their shuttle. Jocinda took the side of the NASA authorities and threw Brian under the bus. Can they settle their differences and save the planet?

Well I guess two estranged former work colleagues makes a change from the divorced couples that usually inhabit these movies. Wait, I spoke too soon. Jocinda is divorced from a general in the US military (Eme Ikwuakor), while Brian's ex-wife (Carolina Bartczak) is now married to, wouldn't you know it, a rich asshole (Michael Peña). Will either of these couples rekindle their old flames? Well, it’s more likely than our African-American and Caucasian leads hooking up, as Moonfall is funded by Chinese money. Brian and Jocinda are joined by comic-relief conspiracy theorist KC Houseman (John Bradley), who is exactly as funny as you imagine a comic-relief character in a Roland Emmerich movie might be.

moonfall review

Moonfall opens with a warning that its many strobing effects may be harmful to epileptics. It should have carried a similar warning for those of allergic to clichés, as you'll be breaking out in a rash within the first 10 minutes. Brian might be the most stereotypical action movie hero ever conceived, checking every box. He's got a table full of eviction notices, a fridge stocked solely with beer and a vintage car he's been working on in his garage for God knows how long.

Much like his clichéd protagonist, Emmerich appears to have been coaxed back to "do it for us one more time." Moonfall plays like Emmerich's Greatest Misses compilation, with almost every scene lifted from one of his previous movies. Manhattan is destroyed by a giant alien structure while elsewhere characters attempt to run away from weather. Emmerich could make this sort of movie in his sleep, and in this case you may suspect he did.

moonfall review

Much of the film seems custom designed to give Neil DeGrasse Tyson an aneurysm. Sci-fi blockbusters aren't generally known for their scientific accuracy, but this really takes the biscuit. Long before the moon gets anywhere near the Earth, our planet has already suffered so much damage that it's going to be uninhabitable regardless of the outcome. Yet somehow the electricity stays on. I have to reset my fuse box every time I plug an iron in, but the lights can stay on as the moon is literally rolling across the skyline of New York?

Moonfall is amusing for about 30 minutes for those of us who can appreciate so-bad-it's-good movies, but as it lumbers on it just becomes intolerable and you can feel yourself losing brain cells as the minutes tick by. When Donald Sutherland is literally wheeled out to deliver exposition, you may start to wonder if Herr Emmerich isn't playing some ghastly joke on us. Germans and their sense of humour, huh?

Moonfall is on Prime Video UK now.

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