Thursday, December 17, 2009
Director: Duncan Jones
Cast: Sam Rockwell
Dominique McElligott, Kevin Spacey
In the near future the moon has become the most important source of energy for the Earth. Lunar Industries has established itself in the satellite from which they extract helium-3 and send it back to Earth.
Sam Bell (Rockwell) is the latest employee to be stationed at lunar base "Sarang" where his only company is a robotic assistant named GERTY (voiced by a wonderful Spacey) . After a three year contract he's only two weeks away from returning home where he left a wife (McElligott) and daughter.
But as movies have taught us, it's always in the final days leading to dischargement that things begin to go wrong.
So it is for Sam, who begins seeing strange things around the base and starts wondering if he will be able to return to his planet after all.
Duncan Jones' debut film is a marvel to behold and a remarkable technical achievement. The effects were made using models instead of CGI, consequentially giving the movie a humanity and sense of wonder that computers rarely achieve.
With many stylistic nods to "2001: A Space Odyssey" Jones makes it clear that he's not intending to revolutionize the medium, but is refreshing a genre that often suffers from staleness. Jones proves he has an exceptional eye for detail and Gary Shaw's cinematography provides some breathtaking scenes.
Then there's Rockwell who gives an absolutely brilliant performance. He has to carry most of the film's weight on his shoulders and he's magnificent.
He infuses Sam with a hopeful weariness that gets only more heartbreaking as the movie reaches its suspenseful climax.
Like watching the effects, watching Rockwell is mesmerizing, he owns the screen every minute and has no trouble getting down and dirty when the screenplay asks him so.
If Jones hadn't recurred to a crowd pleasing criticism to bureaucracy in the end, "Moon" would have been an almost perfect movie that dealt with the moral issues that rise in the face of technological advancement.