Moon 44 (Sci Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Action 1990) (15) D: Ronald Emmerich W: Dean Heyde (Screenplay) Roland Emmerich (story) +: C: Michael Pare, Lisa Eichhorn, Dean Devlin, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys, Leon Rippy, Jochen Nickle 1h 38m. Germany.
TAGLINE : In the Outer Zone.. You need a friend.
Synopsis: Year 2038. The mineral resources of the earth are drained, in speace there are fights for the last deposits on other planets and satellites. This is the situation when one of the bigger mining corporations has lost all but one mineral moons and many of their fully automatic mining robots are disappearing on their flight home.
Moon 44 is one the more memorable Sci Fi films, and deserves to be remembered for the authentic atmosphere and style, it permeates 80’s style futuristic realism pulling (almost literally) excellent set designs and styles from Blade Runner (1982) and dazzling space ship scenes akin to the likes of Outland (1981) and Alien (1979) although I’m unsure why the pilots opted for helicopters in the year 2038…
When the unruly cop Stone (Michael Pare) is sent to an off world mining colony to investigate the source of stolen mining ships, he has to go undercover as a convict and while he has a contact on the inside he has to navigate through the prisoner code and the mining politics and the dodgy dealings going on in the industrial landscape of Moon 44.
This was one of Ronald Emmerich’s early science fiction attempts before Independence day (1996) and similarly the thin plot is full of holes and lacking in decent dialogue, but it makes up for that with some very interesting characters, wild interactions between the pilots and their navigators all at a very cheesy level of bravado, but if you can hold down your lunch and stop cringing it happens to be some damn fine drama. There are a lot of questions raised during the movie, mostly about the plot and why shit is going down the way it is. Why employ prisoners to protect such an expensive hoard, why if you were a pilot who has to rely on a navigator would you treat them so badly? And why would you fly a chopper and need a navigator in the future? I don’t feel that we’re progressing in intelligence or technology,
The main assets of the film are the visuals and effects they make for a believable mining colony in the “outlands”, although what I still don’t understand are any of the mechanics of how the mining ships are being stolen and going missing, but if you put this behind you and go with the flow it’s still a good film to watch. With some refinement to the story and maybe with some long shots, and proper space battles in ships and not choppers his could defiantly be one of the best retro sci-fi movies, rather than a stunning movie, lacking a gripping in-depth story line.
It is a guilty pleasure and I’m still rating it high as I adore this level of cheesy muscle-bound bravado which doesn’t make it a great film but one that I thoroughly enjoy. The film is heaving with all the retro elements of future expectations, the chiselled face cop, the computer geek donned with a baseball cap and who is no match for the less intelligent gym bunny prisoners who have lots of issues and big chips on shoulders.
Rating : 6/10
R: Outland (1981), Blade Runner (1982), Silent Running (1972)
Q: Scooter “Oh yes I like to go fast!”
TIL: You don’t need to have a solid story to make a good film.
BS: The intro scene is quite good, it really gives the viewer an idea of the type of character the cop is. Also look out for the recycled Blade Runner (1982) sets!
L: Selected 90’s sci fi, German Movies,
5B: Michael Pare, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys.
DGI: Chug a beer until you know what’s actually going on.