I loved this movie for what it wasn’t: no phony CGI, no pew-pew lasers, nothing splattery, not a rushed pace &c &c.
The things that most impressed me were what the director & company managed to avoid doing.
So. In a very honest and unfortunately a brutal way, I didn’t love this movie at all. And I didn’t: the cushioned-experience of sitting in the theatre and taking in each frame held no pleasure or (apart from “hmm, I wonder what’ll happen now — these plot twists sure are getting screwy!”) interest.
Of course Rockwell gave a good show of it: the part is a tricky one to play and he managed real well. Of course it had original licks in it: Hal-meets-guy-smiley Kevin Spacey, the midpoint mindfuck, the spareness of the actors versus its scope (not compleeeetely but youknow) &c &c. But none of these elements added up to me finding Awe or Love in it, things I selfishly demand from a movie.
I think one reason why the reviews have been positive is that it’s a fresh breath from both the indie world (which normally eschews Hollywood-genre films) and Hollywood itself (which normally relies on Michael Bay to solve problems …). It referenced older more classic movies and was smart.
Smart, but not wise. Which is why I didn’t fall in love with it. There were a couple moments where I thought “that …. would never happen” and “but what about another great human invention?: logic …” which is 1. snarky but also 2. the way I felt. Kind of like the script was going through the motions of savvy space thriller with Earth-bound romance attached, but never really dug in.
An example: GERTY both evading questions and showing willingness to help? why was the apparition-girl sort of just tossed aside? didn’t any one of the Sams realize they would die after 3 years? all the signs were there … won’t there be a record of the shuttle’s leaving making it easy for Lunar Industries to track him down? Will the communication blockers’ collapse somehow prevent that from happening? if the tower only recently failed, how come Sam hasn’t talked to his family …. ever? shouldn’t the clones be more concerned with their being clones rather than bringing down a company – ie. do they have rights or a lifespan (see above) or real & valid emotions?
Obviously that’s several not an example. And I may have missed things making these questions themselves illogical. My point: the movie skipped over things that I think a smart, yes, wiser, film, would have avoided or surpassed somehow.
HOWEVER. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were the absolute lowest kind of movie that Hollywood would send out to cinemas? Instead of being among the better out there. Just imagine how amazing going to the movies could be if THIS would be the most extreme example of a ‘bad’ or ‘unhappy’ film. Man.
In sum: I admire what it tries to do, what it avoided, and some factoids about it, but it never really struck me where the heart is. Or the brain, sadly.