Movie review: Moon

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It's nice to get a reminder so soon after the critically reviled Transformers sequel that good can still come from sci-fi, and it doesn't have to be big, loud and expensive.

Moon, the feature debut of director Duncan Jones (aka David Bowie's son), makes smart use of limited means, with a story dominated by one actor.

Sam Rockwell stars as Sam Bell, the solitary human worker on a base that harvests clean energy from the dark side of the moon, who's two weeks away from the end of his three-year contract.

In that time, downed equipment has kept his communications with his wife to recorded messages, and the only live conversation Sam's had is with GERTY, a mobile spin on 2001's HAL with emoticon expressions and the voice of Kevin Spacey.

Soon, things start to get strange, in ways I won't give away. Suffice to say that more interesting parallels to 2001 arise, suggesting that it's not computers we have to worry about. Humanity can do its own damage, a sense that extends subtly from the plot revelations to the scuffs and dirt Sam's left over time on the base's sleek, white interior.

The film's not wrapped up as neatly as it could be, but it consistently absorbs attention and provokes thought, as well as a little awe at Rockwell's overall phenomenal performance.


Opens Friday

Grade B+