Tuesday, March 23, 2010
With only three weeks left in his three year contract, Sam Bell is getting anxious to finally return to Earth. He is the only occupant of a Moon-based manufacturing facility along with his computer and assistant, GERTY. The long period of time alone however has resulted in him talking to himself for the most part, or to his plants. Direct communication with Earth is not possible due to a long-standing communication malfunction but he does get an occasional message from his wife Tess. When he has an accident however, he wakens to find that he is not alone. He also comes to realize that his world is not what he thought it was.
Moon is a good film, if not a great film, but it is not necessarily great because it is *great* - let me explain. If Moon is a great film it is because it is true to itself. It is different and unique. It does not bow to any studio heads or product placements. It does not try to fit into a mold that will make it money at the box office. It does not violate its own intentions to appease anybody. It is the sort of film that even if you do not love it you get the sense that it is exactly what the filmmakers wanted, totally unmolested by external sources. I am not sure I would go that far, but I did get the the sense that Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son!) got a free pass to make whatever movie he wanted. So what sort of movie did he make? Moon is part 2001, part Solaris, part LOST - all folded into a quiet and subtle and even creepy story about cloning, loneliness, consciousness, human usefulness, artificial intelligence and various other existential and philosophical questions. Sam Rockwell (what a quirky fellow his is) is the only actor of note in the film, playing almost the entire film alone, or talking to a clone of himself, or talking to Kevin Spacey (obviously his voice, but not distracting) who voices the robot that is on board. The story is a bit uneven, especially in the middle part where it transitions from creepy/what is going on here to a full blown story about cloning and getting back to Earth..."home", whatever that might be for a clone. I would say the first act and the third act contradict one another in some respects, but they are both quite good for different reasons. The former for being ominous, the latter for being engaging and "action" packed. Moon is not the best movie I have seen this year. It is not the best sci-fi movie. It is not a perfect movie. And like I said, it is not a *great* movie, but I give it a lot of credit for being what it is and I have a lot of respect for it.