…and we thought ARMAGEDDON was devoid of science.
MOONFALL is Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster– I mean, disaster movie.
The Moon de-orbits toward Earth, and only a conspiracy theorist can save the day! Thanks for giving conspiracy asshats a platform, Roland!
John Bradley is the conspiracy nut, KC, whose wildest theories about the Moon being a megastructure built by aliens are proven true, as he garbles his nonsense at astronauts Brian (Patrick Wilson) and Jo (Halle Berry), who apparently are the only two astronauts who can perform this mission – even though Brian was dishonorably discharged from NASA and Jo is a NASA director! See, now that’s how you write Drama, kids – send people who are damaged and unqualified to do your technical tasks.
The nutcase plot continues, as a renegade A.I. within the Moon has disrupted its orbital trajectory, and must be stopped by doing something-something McGuffin bomb switch. So Brian, Jo and KC Nutjob commission an old, disused Space Shuttle and fly up there (because you can do that in times of Moon de-orbits).
Okay, let’s accept the hollow Moon (which is a Dyson Sphere built around a white dwarf star—which is a physics impossibility within a body the size of the Moon, but I said we’d accept it, so let’s move on with our suspension of disbelief hanging by a cat-hair) – but then story elements don’t make sense even within the established rules of the movie: for example, the renegade A.I. (which is simply one of those overdone CGI ‘bot swarms) is drawn to electronics and tech equipment, so Brian smashes the McGuffin switch with which they were going to blow it up, to stop the A.I. swarm from tracking them… but what about the spaceship they’re in that is FILLED WITH ELECTRONICS?! Later, that McGuffin bomb switch is just fully reconstructed and functioning again, with no threat of the A.I. following them because – we’re on page 85 of the script and need to wrap this in 5. No one fixed it. It was just there ready to go. Fixed presumably by some GOOD Moon Aliens. And then these Good Moon Aliens fix their malfunctioning ship. And that’s another thing–
When their only form of transport is destroyed, the three astronauts are ostensibly stranded inside the Moon forever. But they don’t seem all that broken up. And soon their ship is simply magicked back into perfect shape by the Good Moon Aliens. Which begs the question: Why can’t the Good Moonies simply magick the bad A.I. off their megastructure? Too much to ask of magic who cares fuck you?
Just one scene tells us all we need to know about the stellar level of STUPID displayed by co-writer/director Emmerich, once again, going against the very rules he cites. Someone at NASA mentions the Moon’s shrinking orbit will soon be at the Roche Limit, which is the minimum distance a satellite can approach its primary body before being torn apart by tidal forces. They state the limit as 17,000 kilometers (Dr. Becky Smethurst actually works out the math to prove this is an incorrect distance, but let’s say it’s correct for the sake of this argument). Then the Moon starts scraping the tops of skyscrapers – well within 17,000 kilometers, wouldn’t you say? – and retains its spherical shape, not affected in the least by the physics forces of the Roche Limit that should be tearing it into a ring of rocks around Earth (like Saturn). Which proves they only cited Roche because it sounded science-y, not because they knew what it was. Like George Lucas making Han say, “It made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs” not having the slightest idea what a parsec is.
And if the Moon is so close it’s grabbing up schoolkids and buses and lakes, it should just SLAM into Earth at that point, gravitationally drawn to the Earth-Moon barycenter (the center of mass that both bodies are orbiting, a point in the Earth-Moon system that is inside the Earth). Nope. Just children holding onto lampposts to avoid being lifted off the ground like the surrounding semi-trailers and cows. I think Roland Emmerich has confused the Moon with a twister.
When KC sacrifices his life to blow up the renegade A.I. not only are we pummeled with a “christian” ending (where he meets his dead mother and they start their new “life” housekeeping the Moon), but the Moon also floats back up into space, like some kind of helium balloon. Does ANYONE on this production, which obviously has no Science Advisor, have the slightest clue on the staggering amount of energy required to drive the Moon back into its original orbit? Nothing short of a star exploding on the Earth’s surface would give the Moon the required escape velocity… Einstein spinning in his grave after giving us E=mc2, only to have it spat in his face with horrific, bloated, ignoramus pigslop like MOONFALL.
The human interest stories are cringe-able – featuring Charlie Plummer, Michael Peña and Donald Sutherland, to name a few of the actors Roland conned into this movie – the equivalent of watching humans run between Godzilla’s feet as he battles another daikaiju. Inconsequential to two planetary bodies on a collision course, yet, like the idiotic practice of astrology, or the pseudo-science ravings of conspiracy nutjobs, the filmmakers try to con we viewers into believing that planetary orbits actually DO revolve around the insect destinies of humans after all.
Soundtrack is by Thomas Wanker. Yup, that’s about right.