What is better than a film starring Sam Rockwell? How about a film starring two Sam Rockwells! That do it for you? Because it did it for me.
“Moon” is the story of a lonely astronaut spending three years on a space station located on the moon, whittling, watching “Bewitched,” gardening, and occasionally doing some astronaut-type stuff like talking to his robot (voiced, perfectly, by Kevin Spacey). Sounds like the perfect life to me, but Sam Bell apparently would like some human contact – the smiley-face graphic on his robot just isn’t doing it for him.
With only two weeks to go, Sam’s mental state is slowly deteriorating. He begins seeing hallucinations, and one of these hallucinations causes him to crash his lunar rover. This is when he falls apart, waking up back at the station only to start seeing double soon after. Literally, two Sam Rockwells.
“Moon” is one of those rare gems of the sci-fi genre that takes its acting as seriously as it treats its special effects. The effects are believable and interesting, sure, but far more interesting is Rockwell’s performance opposite himself. Being the only man in the room (with occasional video messages from his wife and daughter) it is up to him to keep audiences captivated. Even when the film halters with bits of irrelevants, Rockwell keeps things alive (at one point with his seriously awesome dancing).
The film is enjoyable until the last moment, but the more I think about it, the more I really love it. There are so few great sci-fi flicks for geeks like me. “Moon” acknowledges those greats (among other throwbacks, there is the obvious ode to HAL of “2001: A Space Odyssey” with the surprisingly – eerily? – supportive robot) and adds to the genre, leaving me hoping for more inner-outer-space ventures from director Duncan Jones.