“A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit and sends it hurtling on a collision course toward earth.”

Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen
Staring: Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer
Release Date: February 4, 2022

The budget for Moonfall (2022) is estimated to over $150,000,000. That is one hundred and fifty million dollars. This movie made less than ten million dollars on its opening weekend, grossed less than twenty million dollars in the USA and Canada, and made barely over forty-four million dollars across the world.

Maybe the Roland Emmerich earth-saving world shattering international scope strategy isn’t working very well any more. Well, critically he has taken a beating in recent years.

You can tell Moonfall is an Emmerich joint without even looking at the credits. This movie has all of his hallmarks. It has the crazy absurd plot that makes no logistical sense. It has a family subplot that is forced and unneeded. There is massive suspension of disbelief in terms of the scientific anomalies. Landmarks are destroyed, and someone needs to make an ultimate sacrifice.

Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) is a veteran astronaut, trusted by many in his field. When an catastrophic mishap happens on his watch, NASA looses trust with him and he looses trust with the world. While dealing with public and professional backlash, Harper is also dealing with an unhappy wife and his son Sonny (Charlie Plummer), who was sent to jail.

As it turns out, the organization that spurned Harper now needs his help the most. With the backing of an old friend Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry), Harper is brought back into the fold to try and save the earth from a moon that is operating outside of its usual orbit. Scientists are baffled, by random science enthusiast KC Houseman (John Bradley) isn’t. He has his own theories about the moon, one of which being that it is hollow and it is essentially a living thing.

Moonfall plays out only as you’d expect. Harper must return to space with his friend Jocinda and favorite quirky conspiracy theorist KC. Against the dangers of space and an unknown enemy (or entity), the trio must accomplish the suicidal mission in order to save earth and those they care the most about.

Guess what. Spoiler. They succeed in the mission. It all runs along the proper tracks…until someone pulls the lever and sends the story on a complete side-spin trajectory. If you don’t want to be spoiled anymore than you have been, turn away now.

What the fuck is up with the moon being a safe haven for an original homogenous race that really spurned the current form of the human race but had to go into hiding when artificial intelligence got to smart for its own good and begins attacking the first version of humans to protect themselves. Now the AI has reemerged and is attacking the moon, and anything that shows life, so now it is up to the current humans to solve the issue. Like, what the heck. What on gods green earth was this leap of craziness that the writing crew took. Why couldn’t it just be an alien force that’s evil and just wants to eat the moon? What is the stupid third act plot twist of self revelation?

Also, another terrible plot point. Sonny Harper is a terrible character and a terrible add-on to the screenplay. He is there only to put some stakes on Brian Harper’s journey since he is no longer married and lives on his own. The tough relationship that they try to show with his mom’s new husband (played by Michael Peña who is getting THE BAG for about five minutes of time) is also terrible.

Emmerich really likes add stakes to stories that are already outrageous. It did not work in Moonfall and it did not work in a lot of his other movies. Let’s dive into the Roland Emmerich.

Actually, save that. I am going to do a Roland Emmerich retrospective blog when I finish all of his movies. As of now I have seen 11 of his 16 movies. It is bonkers that Emmerich made The Patriot (2000). That is not a disaster movie. That movie is grounded in at least a bit of realism.

In terms of Moonfall, it is not one of his best by any means. It is a mess from start to finish, but the ending is particularly messy. It is a skip, unless you want to turn your brain to mush.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

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