Over the years, Roland Emmerich has often been seen by many to be a sort of "other Michael Bay". In order to enjoy his works, you have to take them with a grain of salt, throw reality out the window, and whatever you do, don't question a damn thing. It's pure fantasy with the box office in mind, and you're there for a theatrical thrill ride. So (a lot like with Bay), I will often come out of an Emmerich movie saying something like "that was stupid, but it was fun".
Somehow or another though, I left this with the idea that I had just been drastically insulted, but not sure if I was supposed to feel that way. I won't spoil anything but the "big reveal" to this movie is... REALLY out there - so much so that I couldn't even call it fun. The film honestly almost felt like a message to take conspiracy theorists seriously, and in this day and age, that's not a great message to try to convey. But again, I'm not sure if this was supposed to happen. What if Emmerich was secretly saying "see how dumb this is?" But then, if he was, he just made some money rather underhandedly.
The film opens during a Space Shuttle mission to repair a satellite. Bantering back and forth are astronauts Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry), and they are interrupted by a weird, black, swarming mass that ends up killing one of their crewmates. After a long investigation, Harper is ultimately fired with his unbelievable explanation, and NASA blames the fate of the crewmember on human error. As for Fowler, she was incapacitated during the swarm attack, so doesn't have much of a frame of reference for anything.
Ten years later, we meet our conspiracy theorist, K.C. Houseman (John Bradley). His theories kind of have to be seen to be believed, so I won't reveal them here. But his theories ultimately lead him to stealing an opportunity to use a research telescope that isn't well guarded at all. Here, he notices that the Moon's orbit is off course, and it seems to be heading towards Earth. Eventually, he goes public with it, after a down-on-his-luck Harper refuses to listen to his ramblings. But then, NASA discovers this abnormality on their own, and it all leads to "let's send a crew up to the Moon to stop it from crashing into Earth as well as find out what this weird swarm is all about".
There's not a whole hell of a lot more to it without spoilers, but once things really get going, the film just gets weirder, and weirder, and weirder. It's another one that's trying to combine a bunch of different movies, but to no real avail. In fact, it's been dubbed by a few to be the most recent "so bad, it's good" movie because it's just THAT crazy. There's so much in here that feels like it was written by a teenager, and though my plot description may seem weak, that really IS basically all there is to it.
Even though there's plenty of stuff that looks pretty cool here, it's not nearly enough to save anything. I would highly recommend saving the theatrical viewing and just waiting for home release on this one, even if you happen to be an Emmerich fan. For yours truly, this is probably his weakest movie. I didn't leave this one saying it was "dumb fun", it was just plain "dumb", and it's hard for me to give it the benefit of the doubt. This goes beyond his average disaster flick, and gets almost too bizarre, even for him. This is one I might suggest watching with a room full of friends though, as you rip on everything wrong with it - especially if you have some friends who know a thing or two about the Moon!
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