Tuesday, March 8, 2011


In some ways Moon is a very simple movie, though for the most part I think it works in its favor. The cast is quite small, with the main character played by Sam Rockwell, and the only substantial role besides that being a voice performance by Kevin Spacey as his computer assistant. Otherwise it's just him, some equipment, and the moon, with an interesting though basic-for-sci-fi story about a man who discovers a dark secret about the facility he works on to provide energy for the earth. The twist comes fairly early in the film without too many surprises after that, but I still don't feel like giving it away because it was one of my favorite moments of dawning realization in a while. It might be easier to guess the twist if you're really looking for it, but I mostly let the story wash over me as the film went on and enjoyed myself a lot.

First-time director Duncan Jones had a very small budget to work with, but he stretched it pretty far with a narrow focus on what he was trying to do. The computer effects are not very elaborate but they're effective, and the set and overall design of the picture is very evocative of the classic, pulpy story the film tells. There's some pretty clever work done throughout, and the movie feels like a well-tuned machine that knows exactly what it wants to do. Sam Rockwell is always a charismatic presence, and he nails every bit of a very multi-faceted role, appearing in pretty much every scene. He basically has to carry the whole thing and does it with pretty noteworthy skill. I also loved Spacey's voice work, because of its reverse-deception. He does the quasi-charming creepy voice exquisitely, but the way the story turns the robot-going-against-its-programming trope upside down and has it actually benefit the hero is even more fun, and the fact that the voice turns out to be genuine after all is kind of great. I'm a bit skeptical of Source Code based on the way the trailer presents its plot, but Jones looks to be a promising young genre filmmaker. Also his dad is David Bowie, which is pretty cool too.

No comments: