x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Moon

The director Duncan Jones used to be just the son of David Bowie; now he's a movie director with an oddly engaging film under his belt


You might say that Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has the worst job in the solar system. The Lunar Industries employee has spent the last three years alone on a moon base, overseeing the mining of energy from rock. But there are just two weeks left before his contract is due to end and he can return home to his wife and child. But when an accident occurs out on the moon's surface, Sam mysteriously wakes up in the base with little memory of the incident, or how he managed to get back. Soon after, he discovers a battered doppelganger of himself, still alive in the wreckage. Together, the two Sams struggle to uncover a dark truth about the mission and the audience is offered a fascinating glimpse of a mind stretched to breaking point. The world of the film, from the first-time filmmaker (and son of David Bowie) Duncan Jones, is a remarkably familiar one; where corporations cut corners at the expense of their employees. The moon base is a slightly shabby place where everything is off-white; owing more to the ratty dystopia of Silent Running than the glossy frontiers of Star Trek. Rockwell's performance (or performances) is/are, as always, outstanding and demented. Kevin Spacey's brilliantly amoral tones provide the voice for the moon base's computer GERTY: a twist on 2001: A Space Odyssey's Hal 9000. Also worthy of mention is Clint Mansell's sublime score, which emphasises both monotony and racing drama. Although much about Moon is delightful, it does lose its way somewhere in the middle and when an explanation finally comes, it leans toward the mundane. While the existential plot also seems a little trite, Moon still marks a welcome return of ideas-driven sci-fi.