Movie Reviews: Moonfall


“Hollywoodize” is a word I have tried to popularize at various times during the life of this movie blog, now over 7 years old. Hollywoodize is when a good idea or story is considered not marketable enough or not “special-effects” enough, that some of those in charge of greenlighting the script are afraid that it might not make enough money. They think that showing an exciting trailer will get people into the theaters, no matter how idiotic the story is.

In the case of the new movie “Moonfall”, the idea about the Moon crashing into the Earth is new and very unique but unfortunately, they threw the kitchen-sink at this story dumping on so many stupid ideas and story twists that the entire movie is too deeply mired in absurdity. For a story involving the moon slowly degrading its orbit and crashing into the Earth, the only idea that would work logically or scientifically is a huge asteroid hitting the Moon with enough force that it slightly changes the Moon’s orbit causing environmental catastrophe on Earth. Then the challenge for the screenwriter would be to come up with brilliant scientific ideas where scientists on Earth figure out some way to fix this giant problem. I am sure the writers thought of this originally, but then thought – this is not nearly marketable enough for the Trailer.

For Moonfall, that has no less than 3 screenwriters, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen, it turns out that the moon is hollow and an alien race has some kind of a world inside the moon and tiny Artificial Intelligence creatures that fly like swarms of bees. I have seen swarm of bees in space special effects in a previous Star Trek movie, so they probably thought to save money, “lets reuse the swarm of space bees software from a few years ago”. The explanation as to how these AI creatures are degrading the Moon’s orbit or why, was never fully explained. The alien people who live inside the Moon are also never seen – probably due to budget cuts.

As far as the characters in this bad movie, starting with a scientist who works as a fast food restaurant, played by John Bradley, an astronaut turned head of NASA, played by Hale Berry and another astronaut, played by Patrick Wilson who are all eventually hired to save the world, using – believe it or not – an old space shuttle that has been retired to a museum and defaced by graffiti due to the world-is-coming-to-an-end-riots. The chain of events in this film, where Hale Berry goes from being an astronaut to the head of NASA, and an unemployed scientist, who works at a fast food restaurant, is added to the Space Shuttle crew, could be the stupidest I have ever seen within any science fiction or action movie. It seems the 3 writers of this screenplay worked separately and then later tried to combine their work into a mess of illogic that all who see this movie will be glad is finally over. The actor Michael Pena plays the husband of Wilson’s x-wife and his part in this movie is getting some people to Colorado – where much of the secondary part of this bad story seemed to only be about filling out 2 hours of time.

As an aspiring screenwriter, like so many others, I have always been continually amazed at how much money and time has been thrown at bad movies like this one. There is nothing good here, nothing that makes sense or enjoyable to see, other than maybe a few special effects that seemed to be taken from other space movies, including even Gravity, released in 2013. This is a total waste of two hours. The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this movie are a very low 41% with IMDB an equally low 5.5 and I agree with these ratings, with mine around 25%. Miss this mess and see any other science fiction movie instead.