It’s taken absolutely forever for this Movie to start showing in a Cinema near me, but it was absolutely worth the wait!
Directed by Duncan Jones, son of none other than Ziggy Stardust himself, Moon is set in the relatively near future, following the story of Sam Bell – a lone mining station technician on the dark side of the Moon. Nearing the end of a three-year posting at the facility Sam is desperately lonely with only a Hal-like computer called GERTY(Kevin Spacey) for company and wants nothing more than to get home to his Wife and Daughter.
Lets get the big one out of the way first… Yes he’s a clone.
Unlike the trailers would suggest, this isn’t the final act twist – you learn his within the first 30 minutes of the movie, and the story of these 2 men coming to terms with what they are and how to deal with each other is the core of the story, and for that reason it totally shines.
An error on one of the harvesting machines sends Sam-1 out on a repair mission, however he’s distracted by one of the bizarre visions he’s been having and crashes and blacks out.
The ‘Sam swap’ is done brilliantly, Sam(actually Sam-2) wakes up in the base infirmary, and is informed by GERTY he was in an accident and to rest, you assume he simply made it back somehow but that’s obviously not the case. Sam-2 realises something is wrong and tricks GERTY into letting him outside and of course he discovers Sam-1.
Despite being clones they are actually 2 very different people, Sam-1 has had 3 years by himself to mellow and reflect on his personal issues, enjoys relaxing hobbies like whittling and gardening. Sam-2 in contrast is hot headed, angry and suffers from a temper problem which is only exasperated by his frustration in discovering he’s a clone but the two eventually begin to bond. Sam-1 is also tragically degrading as he is nearing the end of his 3 year lifespan imposed by his creators as a security measure and with a ‘rescue team’ on the way who will kill them both if they discover they’ve learned the truth the two hatch a plan to escape.
I really commend this film for an absolute lack of double cliches, there’s no awful blending of shots to have them standing next to each other, no passing objects for the hell of it and the dialogue flows brilliantly.
Effects are great, as is the set. Filmed at Shepperton Studios during the Writers strike this lull allowed Duncan Jones to get some real talent on board to help make his vision. The outdoor scenes are created using practical effects which look brilliant – I just don’t feel you get the same effect with CG. Inside the base really envokes a 2001 feel, a couple of props stuck out a little – one was clearly a laptop external num pad, and the keyboards in the main control area and those rubbery ones with lights under them to make them look all sci fi 🙂
GERTY deserves an honourable mention, he’s the very definition of the anti-HAL! Suprisingly emotive for a box hanging from the ceiling, Kevin Spacey does a great job bringing him to life, and the little screen on his front which displays smileys is a nice touch too. His goodness is suprising computers are almost always the bad guy in Sci Fi. There are many scenes where you think he’s going to turn but he always does the exact opposite, displaying very human responses. He very much seems to care for the Sams and wants to help them, whether this is just him following protocol or actually developing a conscience is never answered.
It’s fantastic movie and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Don’t just take my word for it though – see all the reviews on rotten tomatoes!