A Sci-Fi disaster flick so disastrous, you’ll want to moon it.
Film critics and filmmakers/actors can make the best of friends and the worst of enemies. “Moonfall” made me want to bring up the subject for a few reasons. Roland Emmerich, who made “Moonfall,” made Siskel & Ebert into villains in his take on “Godzilla,” because of how they both panned “Stargate” and “Independence Day.” And Ron Perlman just said: “F*** you” to today’s critics for slamming the doomsday comedy “Don’t Look Up.”
There have been a few sentimental connections, like when Kevin Smith and the late Fred Willard were among Richard Roeper’s guest hosts back in 2006, or when I respectively gave Nick Kroll and Benedict Wong my business cards (describing this website) or when I told Tate Donovan “Manchester by the Sea” was my choice of the Best Film of the Decade, and he responded: “It’s a powerful movie.”
That can’t be said with “Moonfall,” which is one of the most pointless, aimless, dopey, and incompetent action flicks I’ve seen in years. It’s like something out of “Independence Day,” so I guess Emmerich would have to sue himself since he directed both films.
We meet two former astronauts named Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), who both survive an accident caused by the Moon, which is deemed unbelievable by NASA. Brian, feeling guilty for the loss of a rookie astronaut and being the only witness to the disaster, has turned himself against NASA, while Jo still works there, but has been seeking for a higher position.
10 years later, Brian has more problems like his countless eviction notices, his former wife (Carolina Bartczak) marrying a car dealer (Michael Peña), and his 18-year-old son Sonny (Charlie Plummer) may go to prison for reckless driving.
But those things are just hiccups compared to what’s happening. The Moon, which caused the attack, has shifted off its course, and may attack Earth. The conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley from “Game of Thrones”) tried to warn NASA that it’s worse than they think, but would they listen? Actually, they already knew since 1969.
Jocinda finds out the truth they were hiding, and recruits both Brian and K.C. to join her on a daring mission to battle whatever is attacking Earth. It’s either aliens or A.I. or maybe both or as K.C. refers to as a “megastructure.”
Since the moon has its impact on ocean waves, it begins to flood places. Of course, CGI effects have to be used to damage those places, but the most genuine looking is when a safe house starts to get flooded, nearly looking like the flooded rooms in “Titanic” or the sinking plane in “Sully.” Outside that, the special effects start to go wall-to-wall and bore you to death in the process.
“Moonfall” is another textbook example of how Emmerich’s work has been devolving for years. “Independence Day: Resurgence” was garbage, and I didn’t go near neither “Midway” nor “Stonewall.”
There’s a reason why I would chose “Jackass Forever” over “Moonfall” this opening weekend. That movie has no story and a bunch of dumb guys doing dangerous stunts and pulling pranks, but those guys know how to be dumb. Emmerich tries way too hard to present his characters in supposedly comical ways with corny dialogue. Berry, Wilson, Plummer, Pena, Bradley and Donald Sutherland (cameoing as a figure who tells Jocinda the sad NASA truth) have all done better, and can do better than degrade and bore themselves with all these tedious action sequences and typical story.
Here’s what happened when my mom asked me how the movie was, and this is how it went down.”
Mom: “How was…..
Mom: What? That’s what the movie was called?”
Me: “Well, I guess you could say that.”
Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow” is a guilty pleasure of mine, and probably my favorite out of all his entries. It may be silly and not accurate, but at least, it helped make my childhood fun, and I owe Emmerich for that. And if he got a hold of my scathing review of “Moonfall,” I’d like to see him try to make me a bad guy in his next movie.