Movie review: Moon

About an hour ago, the cred­its rolled on Moon. I went into the film know­ing very lit­tle: the only trail­er I’d seen fea­tured Sam Rock­well look­ing disheveled, and had Kevin Spacey as a HAL-style AI that com­mu­ni­cat­ed via a com­bi­na­tion of even, sooth­ing tones, and smi­ley faces.

I won’t post any spoil­ers here, but suf­fice to say that I quite liked the film. It had echoes of 2001: a space odyssey, Blade Run­ner, Gat­ta­ca, and Alien. All of those films are includ­ed in what I con­sid­er the canon of excel­lent sci­ence fic­tion, which should tell you some­thing about how thor­ough­ly I enjoyed Moon.

Sam Rock­well plays Sam Bell, com­ing into the tail end of his three-year solo stint as the human over­seer at a min­ing sta­tion on the moon’s far side. He keeps tabs on the unmanned rovers that comb the sur­face of the moon for He3, the fuel of the future.

Three years is a long time to be alone, and Sam’s look­ing for­ward to head­ing home to his lov­ing wife and young daugh­ter. He’s due — per­haps over­due — for a fur­lough. He might be going just a lit­tle tee­ny bit crazy. At the very least, he’s start­ed to see things, peo­ple, that can’t real­ly be there…

The movie explores lone­li­ness, ill­ness, loss and sor­row, anger, and evil. But everything’s done with a light touch. Some things are only hint­ed at, leav­ing the audi­ence to fill in the gaps, trust­ing that the audi­ence mem­bers are smart enough. Even the end­ing is sneaky: you have only a cou­ple sec­onds’ knowl­edge that the dénoue­ment has come, and then the cred­its are already rolling.

Moon is a refresh­ing SF film, one that encour­ages you to use your brain, to think around the cor­ners. It requires that you watch the film with your mind in gear, instead of in neu­tral. It’s a refresh­ing change.

Moon
…on IMDB
…on Rot­ten Toma­toes
…where I saw it

Next time (prob­a­bly): » Kata at the shore

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