Moon review: Even in the future the Moon still kicks all kinds of ass.

Directed by Duncan Jones.
Starring Sam Rockwell and the voice of Kevin Spacey.

I’m hesitant to say anything about Moon. Even to go as far as to say that the film is amazing. I’d prefer to avoid this if only because half of you will end up at, “Well this is the jacktard that thought Wild Hogs was good” and you’ll hold my poor taste against a movie that doesn’t deserve it. The real reason I’d rather avoid telling you anything good or bad is that the less you know about Moon the more you’ll enjoy it. I walked in not having seen the trailer or read the synopsis, knowing nothing beyond it being Sam Rockwell alone in space and I was completely taken by this haunting, quiet journey that subtly reminds us that not all sci-fi movies have to feature explosions, one-liners or light sabers to pack a punch.

Were it that easy for me to say, “Iiiiiit’s GRRRRREAT!” and you’d run off to the theater… we’d be done here. But if I must get into it… Giving away no more that the film’s trailer is willing to, Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) wakes up on the moon. Day 1 of a 3-year mission to harvest natural resources as part of Earth’s corporate takeover of the closest bit of available real estate. By the end of the first week Sam comes across the rare but beautiful “moon traffic accident” where he rescues an injured astronaut… who just so happens to look exactly like him.

This isn’t so much the film’s big surprise as it is the trailer’s. In the film, the reveal of double trouble is just the launching point for the speculation to begin.

Like any great episode of The Twilight Zone, Moon goes right for the delusional paranoia, ably messing with your head, forcing you to ask all the right questions. Is the double a ghost? An evil twin? How long has he really been up there? Does Earth even still exist or is the moon base’s artificial intelligence computer (well-voiced by Kevin Spacey and expressed via emoticons so you can tell when he’s being sarcastic) perpetuating a lie to keep up the spirits of the moon’s latest permanent resident?

Dude, I told you to just go see it.

I was hesitant to say any of this because half the fun of Moon is asking these questions of yourself. You should allow a good mystery to unravel before you instead of just waiting for it to hit the bullet points of the trailer. The truth is that the trailer and the film are not without their fair share of predictability. Chances are that you’ll figure out what’s going on before the characters in the film do, unless of course you’ve already seen the trailer and have bounced all the possibilities through your noggin by now. Why do that to yourself? Why rob yourself of a good mystery — especially a mystery in space! I mean, how many of those are we seriously going to get in our lifetime?

Moon should hold up either way. Good material can transcend predictability. With an outstanding performance from its sole performer (voices, flashbacks and video phones don’t count — okay, they do but still… props to Rockwell for talking to himself for practically 2 hours) and an absolutely stellar score that eerily whisks you through what could have been a very silent, somber void of a film, Moon presents a solid new vision that reminds us how strong this genre can be.

Moon launches into limited release today — June 12, 2009 — and will gradually widen in the coming weeks. Check the Sony Pictures Classics Moon page for specifics. It’s rated R for language.

Joe Dunn is the creator of Joe Loves Crappy Movies, Another Videogame Webcomic, and a thousand other fantastic online comics, as well as one of the co-hosts of The Triple Feature movie podcast.

Posted on June 12, 2009 at 11:31 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: Reviews

6 Responses

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  1. Written by David
    on 2009-06-13 at 01:49

    By ‘wide release’ do you mean ‘New York and LA only?’ I’d LOVE to see this movie, but it’s not playing anywhere in my state (Washington). :(

  2. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2009-06-13 at 09:09

    Well, you’ve sold me. Completely.

  3. Written by Lethal Interjection
    on 2009-06-13 at 16:19

    One of a handful of movies that I really want to see that aren’t playing any theatres around here.

  4. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2009-06-13 at 16:45

    David: Curses; I was mistaken and will amend the article. Sorry for making you sad.

    Here is the roll-out for Moon:

  5. Written by David
    on 2009-06-14 at 02:07

    Well, I’m glad it’ll come out in my state eventually then. Thanks for the update.

  6. Written by Lincoln
    on 2009-06-16 at 15:42

    As of right now, we’re not getting it at all. Stupid Michigan.

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