Tuesday, February 2, 2010

MOON: A Review of the film

MOON – (2009), Directed by Duncan Jones .Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey

This film intrigued me long before I ever saw it on screen. The murky, reality-bending previews promised a very mind-twisting and cerebral sci-fi experience. I was salivating in my imagination with every teaser image and cinematic trailer. Then came the word of mouth and the reviews, which were all quite positive and only helped to reinforce the illusion that this was a thought-provoking, intelligent bit of science fiction storytelling.

They lied.

Whatever your first guess might be in the very early frames of this film about where the plot is going will most likely be 100% correct. Once the story catches up with your initial theory, a few seconds later, the story really doesn’t take you anywhere unexpected or interesting. I was, to say the least, disappointed.


If you’ve seen the film, you probably had an idea early on in the story that Sam Rockwell’s character was a clone. Sure enough, once he goes outside and finds his own body at the scene of the accident, your suspicions are confirmed. After that, it’s all falling action (as we say in the fiction writing business), and that takes up about two thirds of the film.

I kept expecting another twist to the story. Perhaps when the two clones are scouting around they come upon another base just like their own, and they discover a third clone of themselves? Or perhaps when the rescue team arrives they overpower them and take their shuttle to return to Earth? Or perhaps the rescue team is another set of clones just like themselves? Or maybe when he called his daughter on Earth we get to see the original version of our astronaut character and he’s crippled, in a wheelchair perhaps, or maybe he looks into the video screen and realizes that they cloned him without his knowledge? I don’t know….but anything other than the straight ahead, deadly obvious storyline we got in this film would have been an improvement.

This film could’ve been fascinating. It could’ve played with whether our main character was insane, or actually a clone, for a bit longer before the reveal. It could’ve pulled back the curtain and revealed that this was an elaborate experiment back on Earth to test the mental stability of these clones under stress.

But no. Instead, we get a story that feels like it was written in one sitting over pizza by a pair of junior high kids who are more easily amused, and mentally stimulated, than I am.

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