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Moonfall (Christian Movie Review)

Overall

3.5/5

Final Verdict: A throwback disaster flick with just enough entertaining spectacle to make up for its mindless story. 

About The Film

Space exploration is all good fun until some unknown alien force knocks the moon out of orbit and sends it hurling toward earth and the extinction of all human life. Director Ronald Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) is no stranger to disaster movies. His movies have helped cement the genre template, and his latest film does nothing to break it. This movie is exactly the movie you would expect it to be. Is the story utterly ridiculous? Absolutely. Do characters frequently spout random scientific sounding mumbo jumbo? Definitely. Is the two-hour runtime merely an excuse to show a ton of dumb CGI spectacle? Of course! All that is true. But guess what? The film is also kind of fun.

The plot revolves around (sorry…) the moon being knocked out of orbit by a mysterious extraterrestrial entity. As it slowly spirals toward earth, it causes floods, changes in gravitational levels, moon rocks to rain down, and other destructive forces. Thus, a NASA director (Halie Berry), a disgraced astronaut (Patrick Wilson), and a conspiracy theorist (John Bradley) must take a rocket to the moon and save the day. Of the characters, John Bradley’s conspiracy theorist is the only standout. He is enduring and funny without becoming annoying. The rest of the characters are fine too, but let’s be honest, no one goes to a film like this for deep character development.

Disaster flicks exist for glorious spectacle, and Moonfall has no shortage of it. Shots of the moon encircling the earth at close orbit are stunning. There is also enough variation in the destructive scenes to keep the spectacle from becoming tiresome. If destructive spectacle is the one thing a disaster flick must do well, then Moonfall passes the test.

In the end, Moonfall is what it is, no more or no less. There is a reason the movie is coming out in early February and not as a summer blockbuster. It is a rather mindless, paint-by-numbers disaster flick and little else. Yet, for a viewer who doesn’t expect (or want) anything more than silly spectacle, the film is entertaining enough to tide them over until better film comes out later this year.

On the Surface

For Consideration

Profanity: 1 spoken F-Bomb and several instances where the the word is written in graffiti. There are frequent other profanities throughout the film (Sh—, J— C—, etc.).

Sexuality: None.

Violence: Several characters die on screen, but not in a gratuitous or bloody manner.

Beneath the Surface

Engage the Film

Truth, Conviction, and Conspiracies  

Due to the current political climate, Moonfall is sure to be criticized for elevating conspiracy theorists to the role of heroes and saviors. Yet, such an interpretation would seem to read a message into a film that has no sermon to preach. Diffused of contemporary politically charged narratives, Moonfall is more about the search for truth and holding firm to convictions in the face of scorn and criticism. The movie does not suggest that all far-fetched conspiracy theories are to be believed (most of the conspiracy theorist in the film are comically insane), but it demonstrates the importance of honest dialogue and the value listening to others when no one else will.   

Human Smallness and Perspective

Finding unabashed enjoyment in watching global devastation and carnage may seem peculiar, perhaps even sinful, for a Christian. But one of the values of the disaster movie genre has always been to remind viewers of their fragile place in the universe. Despite all human progress and technological advancement, all it takes is for the moon to be moved ever so slightly off its orbit for humanity to be sent to the verge of extinction. Moonfall is a reminder of how perfectly balanced God’s creation is, and of just how small we really are from a heavenly perspective.

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