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‘Moonfall’ a hollow mess of catastrophic destruction

“Moonfall” imagines a scenario where a shift in the Moon’s orbit threatens the entirety of existence here on planet Earth. In the process, the flick explores pseudoscientific theories involving the origin of the Moon. It’s as if a Roland Emmerich disaster epic had a baby with an episode of “Ancient Aliens.”
As interesting and exciting as that sounds, “Moonfall” still manages to underwhelm.
This movie follows disgraced astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and NASA deputy director Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) as they race to save Earth as the Moon plummets towards it. With the help of “megastructuralist” KC Houseman (John Bradley), Harper and Fowler come up with a plan to send the Moon back to its normal orbital distance before the Earth gets torn to shreds.
Along the way, we get a plethora of characters and side plots that aren’t particularly engaging, a third act exposition dump that sounds like something straight from the mouth of Giorgio Tsoukalos and heaps of catastrophic, earth-shattering destruction.
In other words, it’s Emmerich’s typical death-march-for-humanity-style plot taken to the nth degree. It’s also not all that entertaining.
“Moonfall” biggest issue is that it confuses special effects-driven action for vital story elements like character and cohesive structure. This issue is mainly attributable to terrible writing that doesn’t provide the characters with many personality traits or tie the scenes together in a way that flows naturally.
Instead, the “Moonfall” writers have structured this movie as a series of climaxes, each one more intense than the last. The “story” in this movie is basically little more than Scotch Tape binding one climax to the next. And it’s not like the action scenes are groundbreaking or even all that memorable. It’s the same type of planet-rending destruction we’ve been seeing in Marvel movies and other disaster movies, including several other previous Emmerich flicks. It’s honestly kind of tiring.
It’s not totally terrible. While the only performance that really stands out comes courtesy of Bradley, most of the acting is pretty solid, particularly from Berry and Wilson. Scenes depicting the Moon looming menacingly large above the horizon are occasionally breathtaking. Donald Sutherland shows up out of nowhere to chew some scenery in one of the movie’s quietest yet whackiest scenes.
Beyond that, “Moonfall” is mostly a predictable, silly, overblown compilation of digitally-generated action scenes with drama and even less character development. The saddest thing is, Emmerich could have cut one or two of the destruction sequences and added a few more moments where the characters interact and show us who they are. That might not have made “Moonfall” a good movie but it might have upped our investment in the characters and given us a reason to care whether they save the world or not.
2 Indy Fedoras out of 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The post ‘Moonfall’ a hollow mess of catastrophic destruction appeared first on East Idaho News.

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