Director Roland Emmerich
Screenplay Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen
Starring Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Donald Sutherland

Moonfall is the same movie Emmerich has been making since his days with Dean Devlin. Tons of monuments are destroyed and an even more exponential amount of citizenry are sacrificed in the name of special effects. This time instead of aliens or perhaps a big green lizard or just prophecy, the bad thing is a form of AI. Where this AI eminates from will be left to the viewer to experience. It’s kind of an entertaining concept, but the idea is not quite enough to make up for the absolutely ludicrous effects-driven coincidence.

In 2011, three astronauts working in space encounter a cloud that attacks their shuttle. Two of them Harper and Fowler (Wilson and Berry) come back alive, thanks to Wilson’s ability to land the shuttle without power. Ten years later, Fowler is the head of NASA and Harper has taken the fall for the 2011 disaster. Once K.C. Houseman (Bradley) discovers that the moon is out of orbit, he reaches out to both, eventually bringing Harper to believe what is happening. By this time the disasters are in full swing and the shuttles are all in museums. That won’t matter in the end.

There are other side stories meant to give us a glimpse of surviving on Earth while the trio of Harper, Fowler and Houseman fly towards the moon to work stuff out. If one can ignore the obvious fact that the world’s population has been decimated, a good time can be had.

The effects are good enough for a rental and none of the actors embarrass themselves beyond the absurd premise and dialogue. The film leaves one with the optimistic idea that there could be a sequel. It’s not really necessary. In fact it’s tough to believe this film got any sort of budget in the first place.

(** out of *****)

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