Aug 11

Moon: All Alone in Outer Space

by Nathan Atnikov · 0 comments

Sam Rockwell might not be the biggest name in Duncan Jones’ new film, Moon, but for all intents and purposes, this is a one-man show. The film opens with Rockwell. It closes with Rockwell. He is in every scene in between. He’s been a supporting actor in just about every other film he’s been in, but Moon shows him to be more than capable of carrying a film without the assistance of loud explosions or another actor. Well, another human. Kevin Spacey provides the voice of GERTY, an intelligent robot that serves as Sam’s assistant. On the moon.

The film channels 2001: A Space Odyssey, and surely not by accident. Sam Bell (Rockwell, of course) is on a three-year solo mission to oversee mining activities on the moon, which has been discovered as a source of Helium-3 and has become a resource for 70 percent of the Earth’s energy. There are hints that GERTY may be a little too intelligent. He might be able to keep secrets, and he seems trained to dodge direct questions. We’re not sure about the truth of GERTY’s nature until we’re sure of the truth of the entire situation – the nature of Bell’s mission, who he’s working for, and ultimately, how the whole thing is probably going to play out.

The main plotline is launched masterfully by first-time screenwriter Nathan Parker – Bell awakes on a table in an infirmary and for about 20 minutes, the audience shares a sense of confusion with the character about exactly how he came to be there. To reveal any detail beyond that is to reveal entirely too much. There are hiccups in the movie’s logic from time to time, but Moon is an intense, psychological thriller that pays homage to true science fiction. Fans of the genre will be entirely satiated.

Moon Plays at the Uptown this week.

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