Moon (2009)

March 09, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

What does it mean to be fully alive? Isolated in a base on the deserted face of the moon, Sam is serving his 3 year job contract, and delves into the endless hole of that question. A stunning debut by Director Duncan Jones, Moon is a Sci-Fi film that studies and possibly amends the human condition. At the center of it all is a burning performance by Sam Rockwell that is currently the stamp of his career.

Moon is visually astonishing, placing the audience right on the quiet, endless, tranquil moon. Jones captures the beautiful and dangerous endlessness of space, utilizing CGI to its full potential. Moon has CGI that doesn’t blatantly look like CGI; it truly looks authentic. As for the tone of the film, viewers will feel Sam slowly losing his mind. He’s trapped in what looks like a high-tech refrigerator, and Jones injects moments of subtle horror, coming from Sam’s hallucinations, as well he captures the loneliness of his situation.

Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, who is the lone astronaut that is feeling the effects of solitary confinement in space. Rockwell gives a highly admirable performance as a man that is both lonely and alone. He keeps an upbeat outlook, but the loneliness is consuming, as it has been slowly draining him of life. He also plays off himself very well, as he is the only actor with abundant screen-time besides Kevin Spacey who voices GERTY the robot. Rockwell projects the heartbreak and frustration of Sam Bell with natural ease, and he also occasionally finds humor in the darkness. Rockwell is a one-man show using the moon as his stage, and the stage is just big enough.

The story of Moon is in the style of a Twilight Zone episode or a Philip K. Dick story; either way it intelligently ponders humanity through a clever Sci-Fi plot. The film suggests that in order to be alive, in order to be human, one only needs to have emotions and the ability to connect. Everything else that makes us “human” is potentially savage. Jones truly makes a name for himself with this thought-provoking piece of Sci-Fi cinema.

Potential Drawbacks:

The slow pace will deter some viewers, even though the plot is thoroughly intriguing. Additionally, this Sci-Fi film doesn’t have in-your-face CGI, and that may turn away a few.

Some may see the workings of the plot before it unravels completely, but the character study of Sam Bell is far more essential than anything else.

Film Recommendations:

Blade Runner

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