Ever since the dawn of time, long before the Apollo landing in 1969 and for much after that, man has looked up and stared at the moon, viewing it as a source of wonder and mystery. It has been the muse of many a film maker for a number years.
“I wanted to make a film which would be appreciated by people like myself, who loved these films” said the director on his self proclaimed homage to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Alien.
Director Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) is fully aware of the abundance of films in this genre and the difficulties of producing something fresh and original within it, instead choosing to work within the framework these films have left, leaving you feeling familiar with the surroundings and making the foundations of the plot seem more believable.
Moon is set in the not too distant future, where the energy crisis has prompted the American government to discover a new source for the world’s fuel problems, H3, a substance mined on the far side of the Moon. Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell in a performance that has won him much deserved acclaim, is the sole inhabitant of the base and in charge of this operation, joined only by a solicitous computer by the name of G.E.R.T.Y (Kevin Spacey). Perhaps Jones is taking a cue from one of his father’s songs, ‘Space Oddity’ where Major Tom, not unlike Sam Bell is “Sitting in a tin can, far above the world”.
Bell must man this base alone for a three year stint, a long, lonely slog and as we join him fourteen days away from leaving, this solitude is starting to show as we’re presented with a scruffy, unkempt man suffering from headaches and eventually what he believes to be hallucinations. What unfolds next certainly doesn’t bode well for his wellbeing.
This one man show is truly a stunning piece of classic science fiction. It relies on a decent script and quality acting as opposed to overblown special effects and implausible storylines which are rife within modern attempts to reignite a genre that has, in many people’s opinion, not been the same since its golden era during the late seventies and early eighties. Its depiction of the human condition is fascinating; a cerebral delight. Although it does heavily draw from its predecessors, Moon’s pensive atmosphere and gripping storyline leave it eclipsing its contemporaries.
Director: Duncan Jones
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey
Runtime: 97 Minutes