Rotten Tomatoes has given Moonfall (2022) a score of 36%; I don’t think the movie is that bad. It has likeable characters, a story that makes sense and absolutely amazing special effects. It’s not perfect but it’s not horrible either.
As the title suggests, Moonfall is about the moon falling out of the sky. NASA and the American military try to fix it, but the story’s real heroes are washed up ex-astronaut Brian (Patrick Wilson), conspiracy theorist K.C. (John Bradley) and NASA official Jocinda (Halle Berry).
The characters are all very agreeable. Yet I must admit, their stories do give the movie a formulaic feel. Not only is Brian divorced and struggling to relate to his children, he’s also been unfairly treated by NASA. Nearly every science fiction movie made for TV has a character like that.
Brian is an underdog and so is the affable K.C. Houseman. He works in a fast food restaurant and has to carry out science by sneaking into other people’s offices. When K.C. realises the Moon is falling he makes contact with Brian. The two then meet Jocinda.
Former astronaut Jocinda is every bit as formulaic as K.C. and Brian. She’s absolutely darned perfect. In fact, she’s immaculately beautiful, has a great career at NASA, gets on well with her ex and is doing a great job raising her cute son. In other words, she’s super mom, the woman who can do it all in a very reliable, grown up and responsible fashion.
(The same gender cliche has often cropped up in TV advertising. If you don’t know what I mean, look out for adverts in which the women are far more sensible than the men.)
So, to sum up, Moonfall is yet another movie in which the underdogs and the responsible woman save the day. It’s an old, old formula but one that operates like familiar clockwork, so Moonfall is very watchable.
I think when people look back at Moonfall they’ll remember it for its special effects. As the Moon gets closer to Earth it starts to play havoc with gravity. Objects on the ground rise upwards. Water, soil, cars, boats, people: they’re all dragged into the sky. There’s not much more to it than that, but it is spectacular to watch.
People might also remember Moonfall for the way it weaves hollow moon theory into the story. This theory is over a hundred years old and proposes that the Moon is both hollow and made by an alien civilisation. I thought this part of the story was quite original. I also really enjoyed the ending.
I don’t think Moonfall deserves the 36% tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not a bad film. Sometimes I wonder if there are just too many movies in the world. Perhaps critics have become so desensitised by overconsumption that perfectly adequate movies now look bad.