Duncan Jones’ first feature film Moon is a low-tech, indie sci-fi spectacle that hearkens back to sci-fi’s glory days.
Moon is the story of Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), an astronaut stationed on the far side of the moon harvesting Earth’s energy source Helium-3. His only companion at the base is the computer Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) and he is two weeks from completing his three-year contract and returning to his wife Tess and three-year-old daughter Eve on Earth.
As the day of his departure grows nearer, Bell begins to experience headaches and hallucinations that results in an accident with one of the Helium-3 harvesters. When he awakes back at the base, he soon realizes he’s not alone.
Coming face to face with a slightly younger version of himself, Bell has to come to terms that the only reality he’s ever known might in fact be an illusion. The duo has to work together to find out the secret the base holds and must do it before a rescue team reaches the base in 14 hours. Their fate is defined by what they learn.
Jones proves that a quality sci-fi flick doesn’t have to have millions of dollars of special effects to be compelling. Jones embraced a minuscule budget and weaves a story that accelerates the heart and stimulates the mind all in one. He foregoes the pristine environment that most gravitate to and opts for a “used” look that is believable.
Rockwell is a wonder. He’s an actor that rarely displays a disingenuous moment on screen and is easily one of the best talents in the industry. His ability to morph into characters that transfix us in both big budget flicks and small indie offerings is unsurpassed.
With the stark lunar landscape as a backdrop and one actor, Jones achieves something special with Moon. It’s exciting, it’s moving and most of all it’s damn good. It will be interesting to see what magic he can wield once he his afforded more resources, but he might want to consider sticking with the basics. Very few filmmakers could have achieved so much with so little. A great debut effort
4 out of 5 Yaps