The Reel Review
Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson are a couple of ex-astronauts fighting to save Earth after a mysterious force knocks the Moon out of orbit and on a collision course with the planet, in this totally bonkers sci-fi/action thriller from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow).
John Bradley (Game of Thrones) is the anxiety-ridden conspiracy theorist that, through circumstance, ends up joining our duo on their unlikely mission to save humanity. At the same time, their loved ones back on Earth (Charlie Plummer, Michael Peña, et al.) try to outrace our neighborly orb that appears over the horizon every few minutes, like a killer from a slasher/horror film, to unleash city-sized chunks of debris and other gravitational nightmares on them. It’s Melancholia as a disaster adventure!
Even for a story that clearly assumes the audience is in on its preposterous joke of a premise, Moonfall takes dramatic license to new heights. It is a hysterically ridiculous story with some eye-rollingly bad dialogue. But Emmerich knows what his audience wants – lots of mind-numbing action and lots of epic, visual effects of cities being decimated by giant tsunamis, earthquakes and asteroid strikes – and he delivers. As a (unintentional?) comedy, the epically bad Moonfall is at least entertaining in a totally stupid, guilty pleasure sort of way.
• Josh Gad was initially cast as the conspiracy theorist portrayed by John Bradley, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
• Patrick Wilson and director Roland Emmerich also worked together on 2019’s much more plausible, WWII action/adventure Midway.
• Stanley Tucci was initially cast in the role that went to Michael Peña but had to drop out due to COVID-related travel restrictions keeping Tucci from traveling to Montreal, Canada, where Moonfall was filmed.