Okay, so it was just by total coincidence that I watched this film and the PBS doc Chasing the Moon right around the same time. But hey, maybe this is “moon weekend” at The Uncollecting or something?
So whereas the documentary was all about the space program, Moon is a 2009 science fiction drama starring Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, the lone man working on a lunar mining base several decades into the future. It seems that we have solved our energy crisis by harnessing a form of helium found in moon rocks and the corporation that mines the rocks has him maintaining the various machines and other vehicles that are doing the actual mining. Along with him at the base is the resident artificial intelligence, Gertie (voiced by Kevin Spacey), a Hal 9000-like service computer/robot.
I went in thinking that this was going to be a horror movie, and realized I had confused it with the 2011 found footage flick Apollo 18. But this is much better than a found footage horror movie. I can’t really talk more about it than just the setup because there is a twist about halfway through that works incredibly well and creates tension that has a great payoff at the end (let’s just say that the company isn’t exactly telling Sam everything).
Moon is a bit of a slow burn in places, especially in the first act when it feels like we’re back in the hatch with Desmond on Lost, and it would have never worked if Sam Rockwell wasn’t so outsanding as an actor (I’ve never not liked any of his performances). It’s a tight hour and a half of a movie that uses solid special effects to make the lunar mining base a lived-in, realistic sort of ‘world.
Buy, Rent, or Skip?