MoonfallMovie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Roland Emmerich once again confronts humanity with the impending end of the world. Be MOONFALL Most of the time it works according to familiar mechanisms – until a crazy twist first surprises and then irritates. We reveal more about this in our review.

OT: Moonfall (UK/CHN/USA 2022)

The plot

A mysterious force has knocked the moon out of its orbit and is sending it on a collision course with Earth. Life as we know it is in danger of being wiped out forever. Just weeks before the approaching danger, former astronaut and NASA officer Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) is convinced she knows how she can save humanity. But only two comrades-in-arms are on their side: astronaut and ex-colleague Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and astro expert KC Houseman (John Bradley). The small team sets off on one last mission into space and makes an incredible discovery: our moon is not what we always believed…


It’s been six years since riot director and USA Hollywood export Roland Emmerich last reduced the world to rubble. But after “Independence Day: Return” things didn’t get any quieter. No, three years later, “Midway,” a war film that was no less action-heavy but still had a lot less of its Gaga attitude, followed. But there was no success for “Midway” as well as for his foray into drama from 2015: “Stonewall”. Perhaps because of this, but perhaps also because Emmerich repeatedly emphasized in interviews that he is not a fan of franchises and sequels (his “Independence Day 2” was actually an exception), he is relying on well-known patterns again for his latest film “Moonfall”. : His film is based on an original material written by himself and by his regular author Harald Kloser (“The Day After Tomorrow”) and “Extinction” and “The Expendables 4” scribe Spencer Cohen. The content focuses entirely on the impending destruction of the earth by the satellite that is rushing towards it. At least that’s what all the previews and the first two thirds of the film promise. And since the marketing has so consistently and brilliantly kept the twist, which is spectacular even by Gaga film standards, out of everything, we don’t want to reveal it below. Just this much: “Moonfall” is more than it seems…

“Moonfall” has some strong images to offer…

However, this finding should not be understood as exclusive praise for the film. Because of this dichotomy, “Moonfall” simply seems far too fragmented and indecisive. Nevertheless, the surprise effect works across the board. And since we believe that the disaster action film would have sold much better (in the USA, “Moonfall” actually turned into a resounding flop) if the actual topic had been communicated in advance, everyone involved deserves extra praise in this regard for having the courage not to do exactly that. But that also means that you can be very disappointed when it finally becomes clear that with “Moonfall” you are not dealing with a second “The Day After Tomorrow” or “2012”, but with… well, you will see it for yourself. Because as a brain-made-spectacle-of-a-film, the $140 million project works quite well at the beginning, although it is told using the typical Emmerich mechanisms. There are several central family conflicts surrounding the hero duo of Patrick Wilson (“Conjuring” trilogy) and Halle Berry (“John Wick: Chapter 3”), which have to be dealt with over the course of the entertaining 130 minutes. There is no question that this will succeed. But once again it effectively strengthens the closeness to the characters – at least by disaster film standards.

“As a brains-out-spectacle-of-a-film, the $140 million project initially works quite well, although it is told using the typical Emmerich mechanisms.”

In addition, Roland Emmerich and his team take no prisoners and, after a prologue in space, catapult their audience directly into the action in the here and now. It takes less than 20 minutes for humanity to learn of the impending danger of the moon leaving its orbit. In this phase, memories of Adam McKay’s corona and climate change parable “Don’t Look Up” are even awakened, as the film at least shows how differently the inhabitants of the earth deal with the situation. Nevertheless, one of the biggest irritations can be found here: As happened recently in “Godzilla vs. Kong”, in “Moonfall” a pure conspiracy theorist is also made into a popular figure. “Game of Thrones” star John Bradley actually gets the most sympathy out of his character with his performance, but his character type, combined with the events in the film, leave an extremely bland aftertaste (at least in current times). At least Bradley’s character provides the same humor and some tongue-in-cheek “It’s all incredibly stupid what we’re doing here!” moment, while Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry offer an unremarkable performance. Both have simply been seen much more passionately in (admittedly more complex roles).

Nothing helps: Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) have to go into space…

Unfortunately, those responsible do not stick to playing to the strengths of “Moonfall” in its minimal storytelling and escapist production right to the end. Suddenly numerous subplots and sideshows grow out of the plot, quickly moving the focus away from the actual main topic. The gigantic panoramas of the moon moving ever closer to Earth are rarely shown in their full glory. There are these scenes. And these are overwhelming due to the shifted proportions and perspectives between the moon and Earth. The play with gravity that occurs late in the film also reveals some strong individual images. But they also seem just as artificial as much of the action, in which the CGI experts noticeably reach their limits despite the considerable budget. And even by avoiding as much as possible the depiction of civilians falling victim to the catastrophe, what is shown leaves you strangely cold. It’s almost ironic that the scenes set in space look the most believable – after all, the use of computer effects is omnipresent here.

“Suddenly numerous subplots and sideshows grow out of the plot, which quickly move the focus away from the actual main topic.”

What remains is the impression that “Moonfall” is full of absurdities and catastrophic spectacles. But things rarely get this typically Emmerich riotous. And if so, then you have simply seen meter-high tidal waves too often. One wonders what would have been possible with more budget and even more courage to destroy (!!). After all, the moon doesn’t fall on the blue planet too often, even in the movies. “Moonfall” is particularly interchangeable for its outrageous premise. Well, if it weren’t for this twist…

Conclusion: Nobody who books a ticket to “Moonfall” will expect complex characters, intense dialogue or a deep story. The film doesn’t offer any of that, which would be okay if the film delivered in all other areas. But the catastrophe spectacle only partially does that. While most of the motifs presented here have been seen somewhere before – and above all better tricked – what actually stays in your memory is the courage that the marketing team had not to reveal the actual basis of the film in advance, so that a twist here finally hits full blast again.

“Moonfall” is available from the 10th. Shown in USA cinemas in February 2022.

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