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Moonfall (12A)

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Michael Pena, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Halle Berry
Genre: SciFi
Author(s): Harald Kloser, Roland Emmerich, Spenser Cohen
Director: Roland Emmerich
Release Date: 04/02/2022
Running Time: 130mins
Country: UK/Chi/US
Year: 2022

A mysterious and deadly force knocks the Moon from its orbit and sends the Earth's only natural satellite on a collision course with our planet. Astronauts Jocinda Fowler and Brian Harper, who served together on an ill-fated space mission, join forces with chatterbox conspiracy theorist KC Houseman. The loner believes he has uncovered evidence of what really lies behind the doomsday scenario.


LondonNet Film Review
Moonfall (12A)

On July 20 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the surface of the moon in the Eagle. That one giant leap for mankind and an apparent two-minute lapse in communication between mission control and Apollo 11 lights the touch paper on a ludicrously overblown battle for mankind’s survival masterminded by Roland Emmerich. The German writer-director of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 recycles space debris jettisoned from his earlier films in a hysterically hare-brained caper co-written by Emmerich, Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen…

The trio deliver a failing father determined to redeem himself in the eyes of a child and his despairing ex-wife, a cataclysmic meteorological chain reaction that unleashes tidal waves through gleaming skyscrapers, a breakneck escape on four wheels over fragments of a rapidly disintegrating North American continent, a conspiracy theorist who speaks the fantastical truth, and a melding of human and otherworldly minds to conveniently distil the plot. When Patrick Wilson’s woefully underwritten Nasa astronaut stares straight-faced into the camera and growls “This is a whole other level of insane”, it’s a rare moment of clarity for Moonfall.

Repetitive metallic clangs on the soundtrack can be attributed to leaden dialogue tumbling from actors’ mouths. One particular highlight is Wilson’s spaceman refusing to blast off on a daredevil rescue mission because he’s experiencing domestic issues and Oscar-winner Halle Berry snarkily observing that chunks of the moon falling on planet Earth might be a more pressing concern. Vicarious thrills are second-hand and the special effects-laden finale is anti-climactic and cloying.

A mysterious and deadly force knocks the moon from its orbit and sends the Earth’s only natural satellite on a collision course with our helpless planet. Society fractures at frightening speed. “Looting has become a favourite pastime in the United Kingdom!” cheerfully announces one TV news channel.

Former astronauts Jocinda Fowler (Berry) and Brian Harper (Wilson), who served together on an ill-fated 2011 satellite repair mission, align with chatterbox conspiracy theorist KC Houseman (John Bradley), who believes he knows what lies behind the doomsday scenario. As the clock ticks down to our annihilation, Jocinda dispatches her young son Jimmy (Zayn Maloney) and his nanny Michelle (Kelly Yu) to a battle bunker to ride out the storm with her high-ranking military ex-husband (Eme Ikwuakor).

Moonfall does what it says on the dented, rusty tin, unleashing gravity-defying carnage on a grand scale. Two-dimensional characters perish at regular intervals to give the impression of heightened stakes but the only potential sacrifice likely to elicit tears is a house cat named Fuzz Aldrin. Berry and Wilson go through the motions while Bradley ramps up the wide-eyed lunacy in pursuit of comic relief. Emmerich’s latest loopy venture is one giant stumble for cinemakind.

– Jo Planter


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