A quick review here of a film that manages to pilfer from just about every sci-fi classic but gets away with it by employing a charm that makes it feel like homage rather than blatant rip-off. Duncan Jones' (formally Zowie Bowie - there's one in the eye for celebrity baby naming) directorial debut is assured, well-paced and has a brilliant central performance from Sam Rockwell who's one of those actor's actors - brilliant in everything he does and yet hardly well known to the general movie-going public.
Monday, 18 January 2010
The moon has become the site of a mining operation that returns clean energy back to earth, solving the energy crisis. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, the lone crew member nearing the end of his 3 year-contract, longing to return to Earth and his wife and young daughter. Live communications are down and so he subsists on intermittent recorded transmissions but 3 years is a long time and with only GERTY, a support robot voiced by Kevin Spacey, for company he is in desperate need of that trip back to earth. I won't say any more about the plot as that would spoil it. Along the way you may be reminded of Alien, Silent Running, Outland or 2001 but Moon deserves its place amongst them thanks to the fine work from Jones, Rockwell and Spacey (is there another actor who can sound both menacing and empathetic at the same time?). Rockwell deserves particular praise for a performance in isolation of great range. It isn't easy when you haven't got someone else to act off, and he manages to not only hold your attention but arouse your sympathy too.