4.15.2010

QUICKIE: Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

Duncan Jones' debut makes a point of shrouding its premise in mystery, which would be fine if the solution to the mystery wasn't so straight-forward. With each occasionally clunky revelation comes a not-so-subtle suggestion of the next, rendering overly drawn-out build-ups entirely fruitless. By the time the obvious has been confirmed, about ten minutes remain for something to actually be done with what we figured out over an hour prior. That stated, even if the focus shifted to the events of these final ten minutes, the film would still have a long way to go before touching on truly compelling ground.

As might surprise some, Moon moves along rather speedily. One might imagine this story of a man working more or less by himself on a space station taking an introspectively understated approach. Instead, the camera is almost always on the move, the cuts are frequent and the score implies Clint Mansell would rather be working on Armageddon 2: Revenge of the Asteroids. The pace attains near-thriller levels at times and while theoretically this is acceptable, it doesn't seem to mesh. Jones might have done better to go for broke with his blatant rip-off of 2001: A Space Odyssey's aesthetics, thereby creating a more methodical examination of solitude... with less robotic versions of As-Seen-On-TV products from the mid-90's.

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