A Decent if Uneven Effort, 17 July 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A qualified success for the Directorial Debut of Duncan Jones, aka David Bowie Junior, aka Zowie Bowie. Science Fiction films are a niche, and neglected market.When you strip out those born of TV series, there is precious little left. Jones, who wrote the story but not the Screenplay, delivers bona fide science fiction, sans gratuitous CGI, but with a strong, resonant plot and some convincing acting.
The premise of proceedings is that of a sole engineer on a lunar mining station just a few weeks from coming home. Actor Sam Rockwell, as that engineer Sam Bell, then has to confront a turn of events which leads him, and the audience, to question his sanity,identity and pretty much everything around him.With only the intelligent robotic voice of Gerty, the on board computerised robot, amusingly delivered by Kevin Spacey, the 97 minute running time gives ample time for reflection.
This is not perfect by some way.The sets and effects are basic and crude, rather than spartan and austere, and the piano theme often grates rather than haunts.The editing also tries unnecessarily to confuse for effect what is a good story anyway.
Trudie Styler has a Producer credit. As wife of Sting, a decent actress in her own right, and God mother to Guy Ritchie’s Rocco she clearly has some strong connections in the film making world.It is to her credit that this is manifested in a well made, credible work rather than pompous self indulgent vanity project amongst the rich and famous.
At times the isolation becomes almost too claustrophobic, and Jones does not have the confidence to go for the broad themes as genre Masterpieces Bladerunner and 2001 a Space Odyssey do. Yet this is the first “proper” sci fi film of the 21st Century. As such Jones lays down a solid marker for his peers, and offers much promise for his future development.