Moon review

Banana Rating: 4 out of 5

This is a film that’s taken me two attempts to watch it. The first time, I found myself doz­ing, so switched it off. Iron­ic­ally this was right before it starts to get really good. Not that any­thing before that point, before the big reveal, is rub­bish. Far from it. I guess as much as I try to fight it, being fed on a diet of fast paced, CGI fuelled block­busters cre­ates cer­tain expectations.

Maybe if someone hasn’t crashed a car through a win­dow, or back flipped over someones head and kicked them in the arse in slow motion, I switch off. But when Moon is viewed as a whole, it cre­ates an appre­ci­ation for the ground­work that’s been laid before the twist. It's a film that's worth the effort.

Sam Rock­well is an astro­naut at a point in Earth’s future, a lone worker in a largely auto­mated sta­tion loc­ated on the dark side of the moon. Along with a Kevin Spacey voiced super­com­puter, he makes sure that the min­ing of Helium-3 — used for clean fusion energy back on Earth — runs smoothly.

There’s prob­lems from the out­set, when Rock­well, cut off from Earth for nearly 3 years, starts suf­fer­ing from hal­lu­cin­a­tions. But the really big prob­lem starts when he’s out on the moon’s sur­face, and crashes his rover into one of the Helium-3 har­vesters. If you haven’t seen the film by now, I’ll stay tight lipped on plot details from hereonin.

Hav­ing said that, even if you know the twist going in, like I did, it takes noth­ing away from the film. Unlike, say, The Sixth Sense, Moon’s story is one that moves bey­ond it’s big reveal to be some­thing more. This is thanks to thought­ful, unflashy dir­ec­tion by Zowie Bowie Duncan Jones, and an excel­lent mood build­ing score by Clint Mansell. Most of all, it’s thanks to Sam Rock­well.

Other than Kevin Spacey’s super­com­puter chirp­ing in the back­ground, and brief scenes where he talks to fam­ily, he has to carry the entire film by him­self. And he does a remark­able job, hold­ing the atten­tion for the whole run­ning time. Angry, sad, depressed, funny, I could go on all day tick­ing off the Big List of Actor’s Emo­tions™, because Rock­well nails them all, and with great subtlety.

There are times when I was genu­inely moved by Rock­well’s pre­dic­a­ment, and Moon is a great reminder of what seems to have been lost in recent times: the sci­ence fic­tion movie that touches us (or even at the very least, tries to) on an emo­tional level, a film that doesn’t rely on a bag of CGI explo­sions and cliches to wow us.