Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Going to the Moon isn't worth it

Directed by Duncan Jones
Starring Sam Rockwell

Moon is the story of an astronaut (Sam Rockwell) who spends 3 years alone on the dark side of the moon while he monitors a mostly automated mining operation. In the future, the moon will provide all the helium-3 we need to meet our energy needs. Of course, spending that much time alone, except for an AI voiced by Kevin Spacey, causes the astronaut to go a little batty by the end of his three-year contract. But he soon discovers that he may not be alone on the moon after all. I can't really say more than that without spoiling the whole story.

Moon is a really frustrating film. A lot of thought and care went into its production despite its low budget. Sam Rockwell's performance is great. And it's one of the few science fiction films in the last 30 years that didn't involve people shooting at each other with lasers. But it just doesn't work.

Most of the problems are due to the script. Moon is one of those movies that thinks it's much smarter than it actually is. But every twist and turn is telegraphed well in advance, and the audience is forced to sit and wait while the movie slowly crawls toward the most obvious outcome. To make matters worse, it's hard to identify what distinguishes Moon from all the other anti-corporate, 'what makes a man?' type stories. It ultimately amounts to something very forgettable.

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