“Moonfall” review: Taking Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” to space

Courtesy+of+IMDb

Courtesy of IMDb

Michael Lardizibal, Staff Writer

As a young-incoming screenwriter like myself, one of the biggest anxieties to deal with is the looming fear of writing a bad script and being branded as talentless, and only by going up the ladder could you find the opposite of being true. After watching Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall I learned that is not the case. 

Moonfall is a fever dream in a movie format. Directed by Emmerich, the same mind that brought us Independence Day, and starring notable names such as Hally Berry (Jocinda), Patrick Wilson (Brian Harper), Donald Sutherland (Holdenfield), and Michael Peña (Tom Lopez), it’s odd that a movie with this caliber of talent would end up where it did- but the final product is a spectacular explosion of non-sense that just begs to be watched. 

As the moon shifts out of orbit making a B-Line for Earth the world stands on the brink of annihilation. With only weeks before impact, Jocida “Jo” Fowler teams up with a former friend and disgraced astronaut, Brian Harper, along with the help of a conspiracy theorist venture on an impossible mission to space in order to save humanity. 

With a budget of $146 Million (Deadline), and having been backed by Lionsgate, it’s hard to say that this movie was going to end up being as criminally bad as it did. Though it sunk the pockets of major players in the entertainment industry, I’m personally glad it exists as a part of absurdist-film if nothing else. 

Specific notes about this movie that really drive the nail into its coffin in being classified as a “bad film” would be its pacing- or more specifically lack thereof. The first 40 minutes of the movie make it feel as if it’s about to finish just from the amount of information thrown at the audience, a quick check thereafter will drop your jaw to realize there are still two hours left. 

Right after the 45-minute mark of the movie they’re either short on time or budget or just gave up on the movie alltogether because after that point pacing becomes non-existent. All of the plot points get thrown together back to back with absolutely zero regard for timing and continuity. If you happen to blink for just a moment you probably lost about five different crucial pieces of information for the film, and with a run-time of 2-hours in its original theatrical release, it has been estimated that at least 30% of the original cut was scrapped for time constraints by the studio- but at this point, that’s just speculation.

Normally when I try and rate a movie in my mind it goes from 10 being the best movie and really well done and 0 being of course a terrible movie with terrible enjoyment as most people tend to view scaling and ratings, but I personally add on the “negative-zone”. Rating from 0 to -10 where -10 ends up being the best movie but it’s a dumpster fire of a project. 

Just like witnessing a fiery car crash happening right in front of you, Moonfall is one of those movies that you really don’t want to witness happen, but you’re not going to be able to help yourself. I would give Moonfall a spot right next to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003) in regards to enjoyment and overall critical rating. If you have 2 hours to kill and want to have a good laugh, definitely throw this one on. 

“Moonfall” is now available on HBO Max.

Illustration by Ariel Landry