OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Moon (2009)

Let me preface this review by stating that I was never a big fan of science fiction. It's not that I don't like sci-fi; I read Perry Rhodan when I was a kid, but the amount of science fiction books I own is not a lot. And by that I mean really not a lot. The only sci-fi I actually enjoyed reading is/was the stuff by Michael Moorcock (because Michael Moorcock rules), which I chanced upon when I started collecting his stuff. So maybe it's my lack of exposion to science fiction that leads me to... not exactly appreciate this movie.

To put it bluntly: This movie (from the UK - shame on you, Great Britain!) is a complete waste of time. Do yourself a favour and watch something else. I found myself sitting in the dark, rocking back and forth with my chair (which I hadn't done since school before I saw this movie) and thinking wistfully of jewels like Death Machine or Lesbian Vampire Killers. Or, fuck it, Gothic Vampires From Hell.

But this wouldn't be a movie if I wouldn't tell you a bit more about it, would it? So, on we go.

The movie starts out with a really interesting advert, telling us that 70% of the earth's energy needs are met by harvesting He3 (Helium 3) from the moon. This is done by Lunar Enterprises - and after the spot, we say hello to our protagonist, Sam (played by Sam Rockwell). Sam is the only person on the Sarang Base 1 on the moon, accompanied only by the roboter Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey). His contract runs for 3 years, and he's soon to return to earth to meet his wife and baby daughter again. The only information he gets from the outside world comes in via pre-recorded video messages, and he communicates in the same way, as for some reason the interception of a live feed is impossible.

Sam is an interesting character. When we first meet him, he's not in the best of moods, in a way that Gerty the robot is worried. The only human being on the base shows irrational behaviour, is more aggressive than usual, complains of headaches etc. The lack of human communication is getting to him, and he worries about getting home - in only two weeks, his stay on the moon would be over.

In the past years since he got there, he developed a relationship with the plants on the base (he talks to them), started woodcarving (an entire little town, complete with people - impressive), and generally started to talk to himself more often and regularly.

Then something weird happens: As he goes to get some hot water, he sees a beautiful young woman sitting on the chair in the living quarter. Staring at her, completely distracted, he doesn't even notice that he's burning his hand with the burning water. Gerty, who fixes him up, is worried that Sam starts hallucinating - he doesn't mention the word, but it's implicit enough.

The next day, Sam has an accident.

Long story short, he wakes up in the infirmary. Gerty talks to him, asking him if he remembers what happened, but he doesn't, suffering from slight amnesia. Gerty wants to keep him in the infirmary for a few days to run some tests, and Sam is indeed very tired as the robot suggests.

When getting up for the first time, Sam's legs don't work. As if... as if he'd not been using them for quite a long time. Gerty runs quite a few tests on him, some of them cognitive etc., because he might have suffered damage from the injury. The observant watcher notices that the burn on the back of the hand disappeared. And Sam is suffering from nightmares. And the robot won't let him out of the base.

Sam sabotages the base and manages to convince Gerty to let him out in order to fix the damage - he promises just to fix the damage. Nothing else. So, as expected, he runs off with one of the massive 6-wheelers of the base to the site of his accident. And finds himself, lying wounded and dying in the wreck.

This all happens within the first 30 minutes of the movie. There is practically everything to make a compelling movie: The shots are beautiful, as well as the special effects. The whole set of the Sarang base and the moon is very well done and practically awesome. I liked the bulky look of the equipment and its intentional simplicity (although having them had Sam run a sneak Linux machine would have been nifteh as well). The colours were crisp and clear, and the contrast between cold and warm colours is used with great care and to the expected effect. The music adds to the bleak atmosphere of the moon and the isolation and, indeed, despair our main character (Sam #1) goes through.

After minute 27, the movie remains somewhat interesting until minute 35. During this time, the problem of the character is established... and after that, you can more or less turn off the movie and do something more interesting, like watering your houseplants or lying on the bed and looking at the wall.

The movie takes the interesting premises it worked half an hour to establish and then forgets them in a corner of the bathroom after having taken a piss and some valium. Quite a few of the nice little blue pills, in fact.

I watched it together with Riesenkater, who definitely knows more about science fiction than I do and has actually seen movies of that particular genre, and his reaction was eerily similar to mine. When I mentioned to him that this movie has been compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey, he just shook his head and said that that must be the opinion of semi-intellectuals who want to glorify something they don't understand because they don't understand it. The problem is not that the movie is "intellectual" or anything remotely connected to that: The problem is that there just is nothing interesting or new in the movie. It starts out impressive and fine, then takes a turn and violates your boredom-receptors. It RAPES them, actually.

It came as a surprise to me to learn that the movie was already out, and I was looking forward to it. Maybe it was exactly that which turned out to be the problem - my high expectations. Or maybe not.

Oh, and don't get fooled into thinking that this movie contains any horror elements. It's about as much "horror" as Twilight. Only that Twilight is more entertaining. Seriously.

3.5/10 for looking good and having tried in the first 30 minutes.