Dec 10 2010
I do not remember hearing about this movie or watching a trailer before this Sunday. The story sounded very intriguing & the movie looked very interesting & dark that I just had to get me a copy of Moon. I’ve seen a few things with Sam Rockwell in it and had a passing interest in him as an actor. I did like him a lot in Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind & Galaxy Quest. But this movie looked like a whole new ball game for him as an actor and indeed for any actor. Moon was directed by first time director Duncan Jones who is the son of David Bowie.
Well what is the movie, set in the near future, all about? Sam Bell is a Lunar Industries employee working on the Moon, extracting helium 3 which provides for clean energy on Earth, leaving behind his wife & baby daughter (who he hasn’t seen yet as she was born after he left Earth). His contract is for 3 years, during which he mans the almost completely automated station base with only the robotic assistant GERTY (voiced by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey) for company. On a daily basis Sam drives a Moon rover to retrieve the canisters of helium-3 from the automated harvesting machines. A blocked signal limits his contact with his family to recorded tapes.
Towards the end of his contract, he starts hallucinating and his health deteriorates. One day, 2 weeks before his 3 years are up, Sam crashes his rover and is knocked unconscious. He then wakes up in the base’s infirmary and GERTY tells him that he was injured. However Sam goes out a few days later and find the damaged rover – with himself inside! He brings the other ‘Sam’ into the base and confronts GERTY about this. After the older Sam recovers the two of them are wary of each other, each thinking that the other is a clone. Turns out that they both are clones of the original Sam Bell, who left the Moon for Earth after his 3 years were up. In order to ensure that the training skills will be saved, Lunar Industries used Sam’s genetic material and memories for the production of hundreds of Sam clones.
Each clone has a lifespan of just 3 years, which is why the contract is still known as the same. Towards the end of the 3 years, the clone’s health deteriorates and becoming ill they are told to get into the “hibernation” pod; believing they will be returned home, but are instead killed by incineration. And a new clone is ‘activated’ believing that he has just arrived at the base for the start of a 3 year term on the Moon! The older Sam then goes out in his rover and using an unblocked link seeks out his family – he finds that his daghter, Eve, is now 15 years old and that his wife is dead. Eve stays with her father the original Sam.
A rescue team is sent to the base to ensure that, along with repairs to the harvester, only one clone exists at one time. The second Sam plans to launch the sick Sam back to Earth (on the reasoning that the sick Sam is the more deserving since he did the three years) in a helium delivery vessel, and proposing to place another clone body in the damaged rover to take the sick Sam’s place. However the sick Sam, aware that he is near death, insists that the healthy Sam go instead, while he returns to the rover to die, and with the new third Sam clone awakening to prevent the rescue team from becoming suspicious. GERTY permits the healthy Sam to wipe out his memory and reboot him. As the second Sam approaches Earth, newscast voice-overs begin detailing the consequences of his return: Lunar Industries’ stock price crashes; Sam’s clone gives evidence to an unidentified Board of Directors; and finally a radio talk-show host denounces the clone as a ‘wacko’ or an illegal immigrant and insists he be jailed.
What a fantastic looking and acted film. Great job by Sam Rockwell who pulls his role off with aplomb. This is a much watch film for anyone who just likes good cinema, forget if you are a Scifi fan or not. 9 outta 10!