Rated R for language, 97 minutes
Affecting, thoughtful sci-fi thriller "Moon"
Those of us with very lives have often wanted to clone ourselves to accomplish much more. You might think twice about that after seeing the timely, stirring sci-fi thriller "Moon," written and directed by Duncan Jones, David Bowie's son, and starring "Frost/Nixon's" Sam Rockwell. An independent film shot on a modest budget, it accomplishes far more with less footage, a thoughtful story and simplified special effects than the overdone "Transformers 2."
Rockwell is Sam Bell, an employee based at a lunar station for Lunar Industries, a company who has been able to harvest energy from the moon and provide it for most of planet Earth in the near future. On a three-year contract with the company, he has no direct, real-time contact with anyone outside the lunar station except for an intelligent computer named GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), who's function is to attend to his daily needs. With two weeks left on his contract, he begins to feel the isolation set in and begins having hallucinations, which cause him to have an accident in a harvester. When he awakens, he discovers there may be more of him than expected, which leads to more startling clues as to his real identity and what, if anything, awaits for him when he gets home to Earth.
"Moon" is a powerful, unique and intriguing journey of one's man self-discovery - a discovery that he has been cloned - that's not as bizarre as it sounds but is still filled with many interesting complexities. It's often too slow and ponderous, but independent character actor Rockwell gives one of the year's best, layered performances in "Moon" that makes it all the more watchable. Rockwell, accustomed to giving peculiar, offbeat performances, perfectly captures his character's frustrations of isolation and having someone around that looks and acts just like you.
Director and writer Jones, in his first modestly budgeted big-screen attempt, proves to be a writer of skillful depth, though some of it, particularly the scenes with the computer (stoicly and humorously voiced by Spacey) too often channel "2001: A Space Odyssey." Still, the involving story keeps you engaged until the energetic climax,
"Moon" is a layered, skillful and affecting sci-fi character study with a showcase performance by Rockwell, who carries the film in what is really a one-man show. Recommended especially for sci-fi buffs who enjoy a good story.