‘Moonfall’ movie review: Perfect Nineties-style disaster movie

Roland Emmerich is in fine fettle with this story of the moon being an alien ship and under attack

Updated - February 14, 2022 06:25 pm IST

Published - February 14, 2022 04:55 pm IST

A still from ‘Moonfall’

A still from ‘Moonfall’

Didn’t Queen Hippolyta say it was the silliest stuff she had ever heard while watching the Rude Mechanicals’ play on Pyramus and Thisbe? Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall, provokes a similar reaction. It is silly but immense fun. Emmerich, who has given us these ginormous disaster movies, from Independence Day to 2012, is in fine fettle with this story of the moon being an alien ship and under attack.

As it is knocked off its orbit, the moon plays havoc with the earth’s tides, gravity and tectonic plates. Cue the tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanos. As things fall apart, it is time for a motley crew to mount an operation that seems doomed to fail but succeeds with rousing music and all. Oh what joy it is to see this kind of CGI destruction, secure in the knowledge that all will come right in the end! 

Director: Roland Emmerich 
Cast: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Donald Sutherland 
Story line: The moon is imploding unleashing waves of destruction and it is up to an unlikely group of people to save the world
Duration: 130 minutes

What comfort to know that there are people who will do the right thing and save a world that is not laid low by an ever-mutating virus! In 2011, two NASA astronauts, Jo (Halle Berry) and Harper (Patrick Wilson) when repairing a satellite, see a mysterious swarm attack their orbiter, killing a colleague and knocking out Jo. No one believes Harper about the swarm, he is fired and the accident is put down to human error. 

Ten years later, Harper is divorced and estranged from his son, Sonny (Charlie Plummer) while his wife, Brenda (Carolina Bartczak) has married Tom (Michael Peña). Jo is also divorced from Doug Davidson (Eme Ikwuakor), a four-star general with the US Army. Michelle (Kelly Yu), a foreign exchange student lives with Jo and is nanny to her son, Jimmy. 

A conspiracy theorist and mega-structure expert, Houseman (John Bradley, Sam from Game of Thrones) has been tracking the moon, which he believes is a superstructure constructed by aliens, discovers the moon is veering away from its orbit creating anomalies on earth. NASA finds out about the moon’s orbital disco-dance and tries to do their thing. When that fails and the clock is rapidly ticking away to doomsday, Jo, who is now Deputy Director of NASA, Harper and Houseman head off to the moon to make a last ditch effort to set things right. 

There are other clocks ticking as well including Sonny, with Michelle and Jimmy trying to get the Davidson’s military bunker before the nuclear strike, Brenda, Tom and their two daughters trying to get to safety and random rioters rampaging on the countryside.

Moonfall is that perfect Nineties-style disaster movie. And for all who miss Jeff Goldblum being cool scientist, there is Donald Sutherland ruefully talking about the giant cover-up during the Apollo 11 mission. Oh joy! 

Moonfall is currently running in theatres

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