'Moonfall' Review: Out of Orbit

In the disaster movie “Moonfall”, the moon rolls out of its orbit and begins to spiral towards Earth, causing environmental disasters a...


In the disaster movie “Moonfall”, the moon rolls out of its orbit and begins to spiral towards Earth, causing environmental disasters and setting the clock on humanity. Scientists calculate ellipses; the scriptwriters prepare their exclamations. “Everything we thought we knew about the nature of the universe has just disappeared,” proclaims a NASA official (Halle Berry). But for director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “2012”), who treats the planet of life-threatening cataclysms with the regularity of dental checkups, that’s nothing new under the sun.

To find out more, Berry’s character Jocinda visits a restricted NASA complex, where Donald Sutherland, as the keeper of deep staff secrets, seems to have waited, growing her hair long and listening to Mahler with a gun at the ready. . Jocinda will have to team up with Brian (Patrick Wilson), an ex-astronaut who hates her after the fallout from an accident years earlier. Their moonshot to save the world, carried out as a rogue mission while the authorities foolishly prepare their nuclear weapons, will involve traveling through space without electricity. Their seatmate – a fringe science guy (John Bradley) whose mantra is “what would Elon do?” — should probably turn off his smartphone.

This off-world adventure flirts with the awkward transcendent, but Emmerich spoils it by re-cutting an unnecessary narrative thread back to Earth, where Brian and Jocinda’s sons (Charlie Plummer and Zayn Maloney) have been thrown together to seek safety in Colorado, for reasons that make as little sense as anything else. (Learning that the planet is on the brink, Michael Peña, as Brian’s ex-wife’s current husband, announces, “We should go to Aspen.”)

Although geological changes have made the geography fungible, they are not responsible for the poor rendering of New York’s skyline. And they can’t be faulted for the dialogue, which expresses clichés in unusually direct terms: “You put the fate of the world in the hands of your ex-wife and a has-been astronaut!” Better that than trusting Emmerich for anything other than incidental pleasure.

moon fall
Rated PG-13. Stupid decisions. Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes. In theaters.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 'Moonfall' Review: Out of Orbit
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