Moonfall (2022) is the latest disaster movie from Roland Emerich. Unfortunately, the film didn’t do well. Financially, the film bombed. Also, critics panned the film. SciFiPulse feels it wasn’t a complete disaster, but it had its issues. So, let’s have a look at some of them . . .
Moonfall isn’t your basic disaster movie. What we discover is that the moon isn’t actually the moon. It’s a “Dyson Sphere”. This was potentially an interesting concept. The Dyson Sphere was used in an episode of Star Trek: TNG, once. We discussed that in the obituary we ran of Freeman Dyson, the theoretical physicist and mathemitican whose concept the sphere is. The spheres are hypothetical megastructures, and this one begins to crumble, and so crash down into the Earth. So, we have a disaster film, but not a typical one.
Muddled and A Lack of Story Nuance
Essentially, this film is two films in one, which doesn’t really work. It was a bold move by Roland Emerich. But people like a set formula, as a rule. This film felt confused at times. The concept of exploration wasn’t really central, and felt like more of an afterthought, unfortunately. It just felt as if the idea was only there as a plot device, for the disaster stuff to happen, down on Earth.
Emerich has been a vocal critic of MCU, and the like. He claims they’re ruining cinema. Perhaps the reason the MCU has done so well is that the characters are flawed, and the plots nuanced. The villains are complex, too. Sadly, that’s not the case in Moonfall. Except for the interesting sci-fi element, the film is formulaic, and felt like tired and no longer relevant. People want more than just a basic story, now. We are no longer living through an age where people want simple heroes and villains, or polarised views of the good and bad.
What Went Well?
In terms of characters K.C., played by John Bradley was definitely the best one. Emerich created a lovable everyman, and his arc in the film was easily the most satisfying. It was great to see the character get to find out that he wasn’t a loser, and wasn’t a deluded loser, either. Having Bradley play that role was a great idea, as he excelled at it. When we got to see him discover the truth about humanity’s origins, that was well executed, and showed depth. The ultimate fate of the character also sat well, too. So, not a total disaster, then . . .
Moonfall would have worked better as a film of exploration. The Earth could have still needed saving. What we needed was a genre to chosen and stuck with. If the film had had the characters go into the sphere much earlier, it would have worked much better. But what we got was a “fusion” film, with those on the Earth as secondary characters. And, it was hard to truly care much about their fate, sadly.