WARNING: THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS BUT YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T SEE THIS FILM.
By Martin Morse Wooster: My friend Adam Spector tells me that when Ernest Lehman was asked to write the script for North by Northwest, he tried to turn out the most “Hotchcocky” script he could, with all of Hitchcock’s obsessions in one great motion picture.
Moonfall is the most “Emmerichian” film Roland Emmerich is made. Like his earlier films, it has flatulent melodrama interlaced with completely daft science. But everything here is much more intense than his earlier work. But the only sense of wonder you’ll get from this film is wondering why the script got greenlit.
Now I am a history major, and my rule is that if I think the science is questionable, there’s something seriously wrong with it. Well, the science in Moonfall is so crazy that even legendary crackpot Erich von Daniken would question this film.
Moonfall was filmed with NASA cooperation, and the film credits five NASA consultants and five other science consultants. One can hear them pleading with the director, “For the love of God, man, are you insane?”
One final proof that Emmerich has no shame: he named a cat “Fuzz Aldrin.”
Our film begins with John Bradley, playing British Science Nerd, indulging in his hobby of breaking into the University of California (Irvine) and impersonating physicists. He calls someone at NASA and asks him for current data on the Moon’s orbit. Then he goes to his real job at some burger joint and stares at his phone while the data is coming in. “You can have barbecue, ranch, or (looking at his phone) WTF!”
Bradley has learned that the Moon is going to crash into the Earth. But who will listen? So he posts his theory on social media, and the networks pick it up without doing any factchecking. NASA quickly admits the rumors are true, and it’s panic time! Head for the mountains! Head for the bunkers! Grab every available weapon!
Now why is the Moon crashing into the Earth? What is the stupidest reason you can imagine? If your answer is “the Moon is a spaceship controlled by borgified AI that has achieved sentience and hates people,” you win!
So, it’s time for NASA to fight back. And what a motley crew they have, led by Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson. Ten years earlier Wilson led a shuttle mission with Berry where one astronaut died because the borgified Moon bots swarmed out of Mare Celsium and cut off life support because, as I said, they’re Ais who hate people. Wilson tried to explain what happened at his court-martial, but no one believed him and he was dishonorably discharged and is so down and out that he’s three months behind on his rent and about to be evicted. But incredibly he’s back.
But all the shuttles are in museums. How are they going to get into space? Well, did you know that all the retired shuttles are in perfect working order and all you have to do to launch one is take it out of the hangar, truck it to Vandenberg, and launch? Even if, as in the case of Endeavour, the shuttle is in a hangar, beat up and covered with graffiti?
I’m not going to provide any more plot points—there’s only so much stupidity you can take, after all. Here are a few things I liked. I liked seeing it in IMAX (thank you, promoters!) and I liked that Donald Sutherland is still working and is in one scene as the guy who explains things.
I also liked one scene where we learn that because the borgified AI hate electronics, are heroes must use a sextant and…wait for it…a slide rule.
One final point. John Bradley reveals that he has irritable bowel syndrome, and there are many, many references to fecal matter. In this case, this is away for the filmmakers to let the audience know that they’re on the wrong end of a hot and steamy pile.
How bad is this film? I rate films on a 1-10 scale but had to add 0 and 00.
Moonfall is the first film I’ve seen that gets a triple zero.
 Bradley actually drops the “f-bomb” but this is a family blog.