Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the end of his contract overseeing the mining of gas from the Earth’s moon. It is just he and robot pal GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey) until a moon buggy accident sets off a series of peculiar and puzzling events.
Moon is the debut feature of director Duncan Jones (otherwise known as David Bowie’s son) and was clearly made on a somewhat ‘small’ budget (around $5,000,000). However, financial limitations have clearly not impeded Jones in making an intimate and concise film that can easily stand up to, and in some cases head and shoulders above, some of the more heavyweight science fiction films of the past decade or so. The film has a story that would be easy to over-complicate but is kept relatively simple here. It gives you the main twist pretty early on which does lessen its impact a little but does help you to connect the dots as you go along rather than after the film has finished.
The film’s design is also pretty simple, but it works perfectly. Some of the models used will have you thinking all the way back to Star Wars and there are several nods to Kubrick’s 2001 but yet the film never feels dated. The score from Clint Mansell is also superb and adds a huge amount to the film’s overall feel.
Mention should be made of Sam Rockwell who does an excellent job and is proving to be a very underrated actor. Here he is acting largely on his own (kind of), yet manages to carry that burden admirably. Moon isn’t the most groundbreaking film you’ll ever see but it has more than enough to establish itself as one of the most satisfying sci-fi films of recent years.