In the future, we have bases on the moon. We harvest energy from the sun and send it back to the Earth, and power over half the world. We have ingenious robots who can control all the systems on a moon base whilst also empathically relating to its human crew. We’re awesome.

We’re so awesome, we only need one person to run our energy bases. It’s a bit draining — you work for three years straight, and there’s no one around to help you or keep you sane. This might not seem like such a good idea, but don’t forget, there is a helpful robot hanging around. He can even make a smiley face to match your mood. You’ll be fine. Just don’t screw up.

Moon is a peculiar sort of movie, but disappointingly not quite peculiar enough. It starts off with an intriguing sort of mystery, and slowly the pieces fall into place. But… not really that slowly. In fact, if you’ve watched any science fiction before, you’ll grab the ideas pretty quickly. This can lead to disappointment if you go into the film expecting a more head-twisting, ambiguous and elusive sort of story, so I’m telling you now so that you don’t. I’ll not say anything else about the story however, as by the same token, I don’t really want to spoil any of the film’s relatively shallow yet well directed mystery.

There’s not many people in it. I’ll spoil that much. However, the primary character amongst the aforesaid not many, Sam Rockwell, is tremendous. I’m not entirely sure why he isn’t a massive, massive movie star yet. He has a pretty huge responsibility carrying this movie, but there’s no question he’s up to it. If you make a film about one guy, he’d better be an interesting and engrossing guy; Sam Bell is at least that, even if he hasn’t watched as many genre movies as he really should have. He should also learn to communicate with himself a little better.

The Cylons amongst you1 will be pleased to hear that the film represents a massive step forward in the positive portrayal of robots on television. For too long, well-mannered, softly-spoken robots have been portrayed as psychopaths; heartless, unfeeling idiots that are incapable of reconciling their dedication to the mission with their basic programming to protect and assist humans. Kevin Spacey’s GERTY bucks the trend, and I hope gives programmable toasters, automatic roller doors and plastic guitars hope that one day they can live in a life where people don’t treat them like untrustworthy villains-in-waiting.

Moon is beautiful, and well acted, and generally interesting. But it starts so very well, and appears so intriguing, that the fact that it’s only actually good, and not awesome, is tremendously disappointing. Let this be a lesson to film-makers everywhere; don’t make your films seem this good. Actually, that’s a rubbish lesson, and open to misinterpretation. Let’s not have a lesson. Let’s have more films from Duncan Jones instead.

  1. I know you’re out there. You don’t fool me by looking and feeling human.
You look like a radioactive tampon. — Sam Bell

One Response to “Moon”

  1. I agree. It had a disappointing last half hour but try not let that put a damper on the rest of the film.

    Sam Rockwell is awesome, as is the scenery. I loved the parts when he was driving around in his Mako. It brought back fond memories.