REVIEW: ‘Moonfall’ plays around with gravity, plausibility in special effects-heavy, sci-fi disaster movie
Feb 4, 2022, 1:06 PM
(’Jocinda Fowler,’ right)
SALT LAKE CITY — If there’s one thing that box office receipts have demonstrated over the years: People love a good disaster movie.
Titles like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Deep Impact and 2012 have all either earned either a profit above their high special effects budget–two of them even being the highest grossing films of their respective years–or become cult favorites.
In Moonfall, a conspiracy theorist named KC (John Bradley) discovers evidence that the Moon has been knocked from its orbit around Earth is on a collision course with life as we know it.
With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Berry) has a plan she hopes can save us all – but she needs the help of an astronaut friend from her past, Brian Harper (Wilson).
So Fowler, Harper and KC must leave their families behind for this impossible last-ditch mission into space in hopes of saving humanity before the moon wrecks the earth.
THINGS I LIKED:
If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know that Moonfall is a special effects smorgasbord. You get a little big of everything from gravity waves playing havoc with the oceans, meteor chunks hitting the earth, to ships flying through space and the moon not being exactly what you think it is
This movie would have felt right at home as a summer blockbuster in past years. It might have even succeeded there, too. Not so sure about how it’ll do with an early February release date during a time when theater attendance is down.
But it does look fantastic on the giant screen. I recommend IMAX if you’re able.
Story-wise, Moonfall is just OK. Emmerich could have trimmed quite a bit out to streamline the plot, especially in first half of the film. It felt longer than its 2 hour & 5 minute run time.
It’s biggest problem is trying to be too many different genres of movies all rolled into one. Yes, it’s largely a disaster movie, but it tries to shoehorn in some family drama, car chases, 2001: A Space Odyssey-style science fiction one minute, Star Wars-type space action the next. Story threads and characters come and go almost at random.
It’s rated PG-13 for violence, disaster action, strong language, and some drug use.
Moonfall will likely be enjoyed most by those who haven’t seen too many disaster movies. Most of what it tries to do is done better in other similar movies.
FINAL RATING: TWO out of FOUR stars
WHERE TO WATCH:
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.