"Moonfall" is the latest disaster movie from writer and director Roland Emmerich, whose most popular movies include "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012."
That should tell the public all it needs to know. If viewers go into this movie expecting a trash disaster film, they'll be entertained by a sci-fi movie that's confident in what it's doing while meeting those expectations --- and a surprise twist.
Moonfall (2022 Movie) Official Trailer – Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley www.youtube.com
A mysterious mechanical force pushes the moon out of orbit and knocks the celestial object closer toward Earth. With about three weeks until extinction, a NASA executive named Jo Fowler (Halle Berry), a disgraced astronaut named Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and a conspiracy theorist named K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) try to accomplish the impossible and save the planet. Charlie Plummer, Kelly Reilly, Michael Peña, Eme Ikwuakor and Donald Sutherland also star in this film.
At one point in "Moonfall," K.C. chastises a couple of aerospace engineers who calculated the moon's mass incorrectly. He even says "all your rules don't apply anymore." And that accurately sums up the entire adventure.
Gravitational laws, cheesy dialogue deliveries and dumb character choices are questionable, making this yet another silly and over-the-top disaster movie. If movie-goers can survive a sleeper first half, the second half rewards them with more action-packed scenes. However, time would be better spent if the focus shifted on the main trio instead of their families on the ground. Hey, the disaster scenes have to come from somewhere, right? But for this plot, it didn't feel necessary.
It would be interesting to see someone take this movie's concept and present it as a cerebral sci-fi thriller like "Arrival."
Flaws aside, there are some hidden gems in the chaos that make this one of Emmerich's best films in the last 10 years. He explores an intriguing theory about the moon and takes it to a whole other level when a plot twist happens. And the visual effects are awe-inspiring as viewers learn more about the moon's secrets.
On one final note, this movie gives Bradley a chance to shine. The actor, mostly known for playing Samwell Tarly in "Game of Thrones," shows a wide range in talent as a loveable space nerd. Viewers can't help but feel as excited as he is to be on this journey.
For those who love Emmerich's early 2000's movies, "Moonfall" satisfies that craving for a bygone generation of fun calamity blockbusters.
See "Moonfall" in theaters starting Friday, February 5, 2022. Follow the reporter Samantha Incorvaia at @s_incorvaia.