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Saturday, September 10, 2022

Moonfall: Bad News



Well, the Wikipedia article about Moonfall (now on HBO Max) quotes the consensus on the Rotten Tomatoes site:  "Whether Moonfall is so bad it's good or simply bad will depend on your tolerance for B-movie cheese."  I have a pretty high tolerance for grade B movies, but I have to say that I thought Moonfall was just plain and simply bad.  Very bad.

Where to start?  The intellectual hero of the movie, K.C. Houseman, pretends to have a doctorate, and promulgates a crackpot theory that the Moon is really hollow inside, powered by some alien technology, which turns out to be right!  But that theory is so ridiculous, that what message are we supposed to get from Houseman being proven correct at the end?  That crackpot theories could be right?  I have no objection to that possibility generally, but given the flood of crackpot theories about COVID (such as the one about Bill Gates embedding microchips in vaccines), a pandemic which has cost so many lives, I would say this is one of the worst times to make a movie which champions nutcase theories.

And, frankly, the storyline around that theory makes no sense, and grows like a field of mushrooms out of control.   In the end, it turns out that there's not only an alien operating system inside the Moon, which can actually be helpful, but a malignant force that has a grievance against organic life.  Science fiction author Greg Benford once distinguished science fiction from fantasy by remarking that fantasy is playing with the net down.  I always thought that was not really fair or true, given that Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones are all excellent fantasy with very precise, logical constructs.  But if Benford's distinction were true, Moonfall is not even playing with the net down.  It's playing with no net at all in sight, or ever there.

The special effects are ok, and about the only thing worth seeing in this disaster of a disaster movie.  But they're certainly not worth paying for, and I'm not happy I wasted just time watching this on HBO Max last night.



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