Moonfall Non-Spoiler Review

Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster movie, Moonfall, delivers impressive visuals, but unfortunately, that is the only thing that comes across as impressive. The rest of the film delivers a weak story that tries to hide behind the visuals, but simply can’t be. The film is about Earth’s moon’s orbit starting to change mysteriously, resulting in catastrophic events happening across the globe, most notably the tides changing and the gravitational pull of the moon resulting in a change in gravity. The possible ways for the Earth to end seems to not be limitless, but the idea behind this film is certainly unique and is a somewhat refreshing way to end the world.

Let’s start with the most positive thing, the visuals. Yes, the visuals are absolutely outstanding, and the Special Effects team deserves so much credit. The moon looks gorgeous, the disasters look beautiful, in a disturbing way of course, and the spaceship in action looks great. This is a non-spoiler review, so I won’t give away what it is, but the anomaly being talked about and seen throughout the film also looks outstanding. Emmerich certainly didn’t cut corners, or at least he cut the right ones, in order to make this disaster look as realistic, beautiful, and disturbing as it could be. These visuals are particularly impressive on the big screen, so I am certainly glad to have seen it in theaters and recommend that those of you who will check it out, see it there too, or at least on the biggest screen you can get your hands on.

Looking at the cast, Halle Berry is of course the biggest name here and she delivers a performance that is what one would expect to see Berry deliver, which is by no means a bad thing. Halle Berry’s characters are all pretty similar, but that is because she is great at delivering this type of performance. The other big name in the cast is Patrick Wilson, and while Wilson does good throughout the movie, he is asked to do some things in particular towards the end, that really feel disconnected. It feels as though Wilson either wasn’t a fan or didn’t understand exactly what he was being asked to do. These scenes certainly took me out of the film, but I can’t decipher how much of that was because of the acting or how much was the script, though I am leaning more towards the latter. Rounding out the trio of leads is John Bradley, who is best known for his work on Game of Thrones as Samwell Tarly. Like on Game of Thrones, Bradley provides a ton of heart and levity, however, I couldn’t help but feel that some of it was a bit out of place. That being said, Bradley delivers on what the script is asking him to do.

As for the other cast members, no one sticks out as being on either side of the good or bad acting spectrum. We have Charlie Plummer and Kelly Yu providing fine performances, but unfortunately, the script only provides them with a predictable plot that never asks them to do anything noteworthy. Also, Michael Pena is in the movie who in the past has found fame for how good he is at comedic moments, especially in the Ant-Man movies, however, he is in this movie a lot less than I would have expected him to be. On a side note, I am not always a fan of child actors, but there are a few child actors involved and they also provide a serviceable acting job. A lot of these side characters are asked to either deliver on scenes that are actually ridiculous, or scenes that I don’t frankly care about, just for the sake of showing more disaster happening. Before anyone says anything about this, yes, I understand this is a disaster film, but I think the best disaster films have characters that you actually care about involved in the disasters so that you can sympathize with them. This is something that the film is sorely lacking.

This then leads me to discussing the script, which in case you haven’t noticed so far, is my least favorite thing about the film, and is the root of many issues that I have with the film. Now, the first two acts of the movie actually aren’t too bad, though, don’t get me wrong there are some major problems. The most notable for me is that there is a side plot that happens about mid-way into the movie, which is actually pretty boring. The characters involved barely got any buildup, so when the apocalypse starts happening, there is zero care that I had for the well-being of these characters. But, as I said, the first act isn’t that bad, especially when showing the separate stories of Berry, Wilson, and Bradley. These separate stories coming together was interesting and even though it was predictable, the chemistry of the actors, particularly Wilson and Bradley with each other, was enjoyable. Whenever the movie switched over to the side plot, I would just find myself wishing that I was back with the trio and the main plot.

When the film reached its third act, that was when I really started to feel that this movie’s plot was truly off the deep end. First of all, there is a car scene, won’t spoil it of course, but there is a car scene that is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen in a movie. The way the disaster happens around the car is totally convenient, but the worst thing happens at the end of the scene. You will know it when you see it, but the end of the scene has one of the most ridiculous, convenient, and laughable moments that I will probably ever see. I will never forget the audience members laughing at just how ridiculous and absurd the scene truly is. It’s going to stick with me, that’s for sure. Then, there is the plot twist that comes towards the end of the movie. On its own, the twist isn’t all that bad of an idea. How it is executed though is a completely different story. The execution of this twist feels so out of place and there was no build-up that it completely falls flat and I feel even hurts the film. This was why I brought up the sub-plots because this ended up feeling like wasted time and energy that was sorely needed in order to set up the twist better.

At the end of the day, Emmerich’s Moonfall has the visuals you could hope for when it comes to disaster movies, however, this was clearly not enough to hide the other problems with the film. A side plot with uninteresting characters takes up too much time that would’ve served the movie better if it was not included. If you’re a Roland Emmerich fan, you probably know what you are getting into, but unfortunately, I feel that this movie’s lack of interesting characters and some scenes in particular that are just plain ridiculous. The big screen is certainly the way to see this movie, so if you plan on still seeing it, that is the way to go.

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Joel Tapia is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @tapioca621

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