In the future, Lunar Industries will harvest the moon for Helium-3 to combat the energy crisis happening on Earth. Sam Bell is the lone worker mining the precious cargo and things seemed to be going fine for him until he encounters the dark underbelly of what he’s involved in.
As I was watching this movie from the beginning, I thought I had the entire plot figured out immediately. Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell, has spent 3 years at a station all alone with virtually no human interaction, outside of a robot companion. He starts seeing things and I believed that’s because of his long exposure. I thought it was going to be an isolation type film. But then the twist happened and it completely changed my views of the film.
So the twist is that Sam Bell is a clone and he comes into contact with another clone. The two are clones of the original Sam Bell. The two learn from each other and learn that Lunar Industries have many clones of Bell underneath their feet, ready to operate in the world if the previous clone dies or something. This moment in the film caught me off guard and I really enjoyed the plot/story as it was going along.
Sam Rockwell does a good job playing the two Sam Bells. The two clones have different traits and personalities to help differentiate who is who. Kevin Spacey as the robot GERTY was good too. I thought maybe he was going to be the villain of the movie, but no, he is actually nice and is just simply operating what his programming is set to do. In fact, the main villain of the movie is Lunar Industries.
It is not explicitly said why the company is cloning humans. But in terms of the context of the movie, it makes sense. Operations in space cost a lot of money and paying for Astronaut expenses cost money. So to cut the cost of all of that, the company thinks its best to do human cloning. No more training newbies when you can simply implant the conscious of one into another. Ingenious, but cruel. The messages that this film brings about is simply to say that companies can do shady actions and will do anything to reduce cost/save money. They only care for the product (clones), not the people. Which is something that very well reflects some businesses in real-life. I do really like the ending when the healthier Sam Bell flies to Earth, you hear Lunar Industries is plummeting and they are trying to cover this up by saying he is an illegal immigrant. Again, it does reflect businesses in real-life as they can try to cover-up a mess that they themselves created from the start.
The film has a mix of good and bad effects. The CG in the movie is pretty questionable and looks like it was taken from a video game. Now the movie does have a $5 Million budget, so I won’t bash it too much. But for the good stuff, it looks really good, especially the moon scenes. To a point where I have to question whether those scenes look to be all practical or CG. The environment of the moon is visually nice and it offers some of the best cinematography in the film. For example, the scene after the older Bell clone sees that his daughter is all grown up. It shows the moon rover to the left, while the entire Earth can be seen on the right. It was so beautiful and gorgeous to witness.
The music was really good, in particular, the opening theme. It sets the mood right for the beginning. It offers a dreamy, surreal, and impending doom type feel. But it seems that this movie really loves it because it’s one of the very few pieces of music here. I wish there was more original music, as opposed to them using the same theme repeated over and over.
The run time of the movie I wish could have been longer. Due to the pacing being fast. There is a segment where the healthier Bell clone wakes up and wants to figure out the mysterious circumstances happening around him. Then in 5 minutes or so, he already discovers a clone of himself. There wasn’t enough time to settle down and get absorbed in the futuristic world. The relationship between the two clones is good and does offer some comedic moments. But there isn’t a lot of scenes of them interacting with each other, as there were scenes where they are alone doing their own thing. More scenes with the two together could have contributed a lot more for the film
All in all, “Moon” was a very pleasant surprise for me. The twist alone was the highlight and definitely made the film a worthwhile experience. The performances are good, the music is great, the cinematography is nicely done, and the messages presented are still relevant to this day. This is a great sci-fi film that one should watch.