Roland Emmerich should be called Hollywood’s Disaster King. In the 1990s, he gave us Independence Day. In the 2000s, he laid down The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. In the 2010s, he gifted us with Independence Day: Resurgence. Now that it’s a new decade, Emmerich officially stamps the 2020s with his latest disaster epic Moonfall, starring Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson and GOT alumni John Bradley (along with a short cameo from Donald Sutherland).
Patrick Wilson plays everyman/disgraced astronaut Brian Harper who witnesses firsthand a destructive entity that attacked his crew while in orbit above Earth. A crew member was lost in the incident but NASA used him as the scapegoat in the disaster and instead covers up evidence that said entity came from the Moon. Washed up, divorced, he spends his time fixing his muscle cars and doing the occasional gig as a children’s presenter at LA’s Griffith Park Observatory.
Meanwhile, Sam Tarly err KC Houseman (John Bradley) is a conspiracy theorist who comes across evidence that the Moon’s orbit is changing and headed towards Earth. With no one willing to listen to his theories, he sets his sights on Harper. But it isn’t until things start going awry (tsunamis, earthquakes, falling fireball debris) that Harper finally believes him.
By this time, former crew member/astronaut and acting head of NASA Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) asks for Harper’s help by rocketing up to the Moon on a retired Space Shuttle to investigate and hopefully save the world before the Moon tears the Earth apart.
While very little substance is expected from an Emmerich disaster film, Moonfall has the distinction of being his most memorable since Stargate and Independence Day MK1. As a kid, I had a dream that the moon was crashing into Earth and to see it realized via special effects on a big IMAX screen is indeed something to behold personally. Needless to say, the effects here are spectacular and deserve top billing.
Borrowing heavily from notable science fiction classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gravity and Mission to Mars, Moonfall rips off Emmerich’s own films (even The Patriot) with its father/son dichotomy subplot. Most of the cast is ultimately wasted especially Berry, fresh from an impressive directorial debut with 2020’s Bruised and Donald Sutherland who shows up for a minute and is gone the next.
Wilson is good as this generation’s Jimmy Stewart, an all-around American everyman, a title Nicholas Cage used to own. John Bradley provides much needed comic relief – which brings me to this…
The film never takes itself seriously for a single moment. With the dialogue having the depth of a Saturday morning cartoon, the preposterous plot taken in a more serious direction would completely sink this film to oblivion. But Moonfall treads the tides with its sense of humor, great special effects and the lack of machismo of a Michael Bay film (and that’s a good thing). Moonfall should really be considered as a major Six Flags ride. But instead of a 2-3 min experience, you get 2 whole hours (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing).
Review by Vince Caro
8 thoughts on “FlixChatter Guest Review: MOONFALL (2022)”
I ain’t going to see this shit. Plus, he dissed Marvel as I just think he’s just jelly because the filmmakers who do films for Marvel aren’t just more talented than him but make better films outside of Marvel.
Haha you are probably right… I hate this film as well in hindsight, but I was admittedly entertained and I’m I marvel fanboy. Time for some self-reflection (for me) lol
Great review, Vince! I might see this if it’s free on streaming one day but in no rush to see it at all.
“With the dialogue having the depth of a Saturday morning cartoon…” mwahahaha!! It kinda seems that way from the trailer.
I’m also annoyed like Steven is that Emmerich has the guts to criticize Marvel, I mean come on dude, he WISHED he’s invited to direct a Marvel movie, ahah, obviously he’s not talented enough.
Haha I didn’t know about those comments!
I usually don’t mind Roland Emmerich’s films but this one just looks so bad that I won’t spend money on seeing it in theater. Maybe when it hits Netflix or Amazon, I’ll watch it.
This project was originally going to be directed by Steven Spielberg with either Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks as the lead. It’s supposed to be a serious take on the disaster film genre but I think the writers’ strike in the 2008 put the project on hold and Spielberg loss interest in making it.
Wow, interesting! I’m learning more about this movie in the comments than I actually care to haha.
Ha ha, this project was a very hot commodity back in the mid to late 2000s. Now I actually remember that there were two projects about the moon crashing down on earth. One was the Spielberg version that I mentioned, I think Fox or Paramount were going to produce it. Warner Bros. or Universal were planning the other one with I believe Ridley Scott or Michael Mann attached to direct. This film’s development started out with well respected directors attached to them but somehow the version we got was directed by Roland Emmerich. Lol!
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