When I was a kid, Irwin Allen was the king of the disaster film. That crown was passed to Roland Emmerich a long time ago, and his grip is as firm as ever as the moon crashes into the Earth in Moonfall. Ten years ago, astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) was repairing a satellite with his cohorts, an actor (whose name I can’t find) and Jo Fowler (Halle Berry). Some nanobot monster attacks Brian (and friend), and the unnamed actor is killed (the common fate of uncredited actors). Brian is kicked out of NASA for telling his nanobot monster story and, in disgrace, lives a meager life, divorced, and taking part in school field trips with children at Griffith’s Observatory.
Jump to today, and a nerd named KC (John Bradley) breaks into NASA as a janitor and steals data showing that the moon was knocked out of orbit by the attack mentioned above and making its way to Earth. Armed with literal earth-shattering news, no one will listen to his wacko hypothesis that the moon is a superstructure built by aliens. While the world thinks KC is a nut, NASA, on the other hand, knows his theory about the moon colliding with Earth is true. Finally, KC convinces the media our planet is doomed, and now the world is in full panic.
“…the moon crashes into the Earth…”
Before you know it, the Space Shuttle program is brought back to life. The plan is to send a shuttle to greet the Nano-monster and hit it with an EMP pulse. But, unfortunately, they have only a day or two to do it. So Brian, Jo, and KC steal the space shuttle Endeavor from the California Science Center, arm it with an EMP, and launch it straight to the moon, which is getting closer every minute.
Of course, every disaster film must have a human element, and Moonfall is no exception. Brian’s ex-wife, Brenda (Carolina Bartczak), is remarried to a car salesman, Tom (Michael Peña). Meanwhile, Brian and Brenda’s son, Sonny (Charlie Plummer), is having severe adolescence issues and is now in jail. Jo’s ex-husband, Doug (Eme Ikwuakor), is a general with keys to the nukes, and if she fails, they’ll nuke the hell out of the moon. Finally, KC is just worried about his mother, who has developed dementia.
"…don’t take the story too seriously..."