Would it look like I was skiving if I said I didn’t want to review Moon because I know I’ll spoiler it, and it’s another film where the less you know going in the better? Probably, but trust me, it’s true.
I was worried, going in, that Moon would fall into the irritating pseudo-philosophical traps that ‘serious’ science fiction films are susceptible to – the impenetrable ending of 2001, or the wibbly nonsense at the end of the otherwise great Sunshine. It doesn’t – it has shades of that at first, but twists it the other way, and ends up with a really solid science fiction conceit.
The film is built around Sam Rockwell, who is fantastic as a lunar miner coming to the end of his three-year contract when [spoilery stuff] starts to happen. He’s funny and human, and maintains our sympathy with hardly any supporting cast – the bulk of the film is him alone. It’s great casting – it’s the sort of role that someone like Tom Cruise might claim and then screw up with overacting, because what actor doesn’t want all the screentime to himself? There is support from the obligatory robot, voiced by Kevin Spacey and featuring a limited range of smiley faces to indicate suitable moods. (The film neatly subverts expectations about said robot by [more spoilery stuff]) But seriously, would you program your robot to sound like Kevin Spacey? I’d choose, like, Roger Livesey or someone – nothing bad ever sounded like that…
I can’t think of anything original to say about the technical side of the film – it’s well made, looks good, etc – actually it’s got something of the aesthetic that I want for my main sci-fi script – sci-fi without being either overly sleek or overly gloomy. I was hoping to avoid mentioning that Moon‘s (first-time feature) director Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son, but apparently there’s a law against that. Hey, at least I didn’t put it in the title, and I gave him his own name, too. It’s a shame, really, because it’s a great film, and the guy deserves to be seen on his own terms.
(Moon is, heh, stellar.) (Sorry.)