Moonfall comes about as advertised for a Roland Emmerich-directed disaster movie. It’s a film about the moon crashing into Earth and humanity needs to stop it. You’ll very much get that loud type of action picture only Emmerich can deliver so well.

What you may not expect, however, is the abundance of unintentional comedy. And, yes, this is a comedy that very much doesn’t seem expected or planned. It’s this high level of absurdity that pushes Moonfall out of the arena of decent disaster flicks and becomes a so-bad-it’s-good triumph.

The Moon is Falling!

I doubt you need much of a plot synopsis for such a movie. There is one if you’re interested but it’s about what you’d expect from the poster and trailers. The moon’s orbit is appearing off and it’s heading on a direct collision course with Earth.

The first to make this discovery is the conspiracy theorist KC Houseman (Game of Thrones’ John Bradley). He’s been a loser his whole life but this is his chance to prove himself. All of his theories about the moon being a mega-structure turn out to be true!

Another believer is the disgraced astronaut, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), who was not believed by NASA when an alien killed his crew member. Another NASA leader, Jo Fowler (Halle Berry), struggles to make the higher-ups believe her about this discovery from KC. The three of them will have to band together if they hope to save the planet.

The Big Show

First, yes, Emmerich doesn’t skimp on the spectacle. If you’re coming into this picture hoping for lots of carnage, you won’t be let down. Cities flood, gravity warps, and skyscrapers go flying into the sky.

And that’s before the moon starts getting so close that there’s no way Earth could survive that proximity if averted. There’s a big twist involving the moon that also reveals a massive CGI fest. I’ll avoid spoilers but I will say nothing else in the film will prepare you for the big discovery.

Completely Ridiculous

The whole film is ridiculous but that’s somewhat expected by disaster movies. Considering Emmerich helmed some of the most notable ones in the past few decades, a certain pattern emerges. For Emmerich, all you can really hope for is that they’re so absurd you get a chuckle and a smirk out of such paper-thin scripts.

Thankfully, Moonfall is an absolute triumph of this formula. Every bit of dialogue revolving around the moon had me rolling with laughter. The sights of warped gravity and orbits are so hilarious to watch unfold.

Every typical disaster movie trope is present in full force. You’ve got the step-dad sacrificing himself, the stuffy military eager to fire nukes, the troubled teen, and the cute kid worth fighting for. The earnestness placed in all of this is just a massive chef kiss to the genre.

Was It On Purpose?

So, yeah, Moonfall is really dumb to the point where I was hysterical by the climax. The closest comparison for such silliness was how much I felt my brain melting while watching Cats. Yet, a question may linger: Is Moonfall intentionally a comedy?

Thinking more about it, I can confidently say this wasn’t on purpose. First, films that intentionally try to be so-bad-they’re-good are never this grand. Second, well, it’s Emmerich and this is kinda his bread and butter.

But, perhaps most importantly, there are other scenes where the intended emotion is lacking. Just listen to the audience groan with the two major shout-outs to Elon Musk and Space X. It’s a moment of comedy that falls flat on its face and is one of the worst parts of the movie.

Compare that to the scene where the space shuttle takes off while underwater. This scene is meant to be epic but it’s not. It’s silly and it’s glorious on that level.

A Bad Movie With Brilliance

It may seem hard to describe Moonfall and how much fun I had with it to someone not as seasoned with bad movies. I might call it a guilty pleasure but that doesn’t feel accurate. Guilty implies that I would feel bad for enjoying the film but I really didn’t.

Because, yes, Moonfall doesn’t end up becoming the enrapturing adventure it was most likely aiming for. The twist is supposed to be surprising but it’s baffling. The science is meant to sound important but it’s more hilariously inaccurate than anything else.

Coupled with some lackluster acting, all of this would amount to a bad movie. That’d be true if it were completely boring and passive with all of these familiar stagings and tropes of mindless disaster movies. But it’s also silly and devoid of boredom.

Honestly, the worst movies to me are the ones that are boring. Moonfall, on this level, does not disappoint. It’s big, loud, uproarious, stupid, and an absolutely hilarious trip.

Conclusion: Moonfall

Moonfall may be Emmerich’s dumbest and funniest film to date. It has everything that you might expect from him and it’s dialed up to 11. And if it weren’t that high level of absurdity, it’d be just another average disaster flick.

I found myself really enjoying this picture, even if not for the intended purpose. It is science fiction at its most laughable of spectacles and it’s something you don’t see very often. It’s not every director that gets to go this brazen with a ludicrous concept for a disaster movie and make it so damn funny without even knowing it.

If you don’t like loud and brain-dead disaster movies, Moonfall will certainly tire you. However, if you’re used to this genre and want to see what would happen if Emmerich maxed out the settings on everything he’s known for, you’ll have a blast. And given how many disaster movies I’ve endured, Moonfall is absolutely my jam.

Did you see Moonfall? What did you think? Was it so bad it was good or not bad enough to be good? Let us know in the comments below.

Moonfall is currently playing in theaters.


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