We live in a time of the same old Star Wars crap. Do yourself a favor, enjoy the pleasure of an actual science fiction movie.
Should I see it?
Yes. Double yes.
Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Nathan Parker
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Benedict Wong and Matt Berry
Rated R for language
Actual science fiction is an uncommon thing to find in the cinema. Think of it, when was the last time you watched a science fiction film that didn’t center on aliens, demons, zombies or hippies in bathrobes carrying light sabers?
Sam Rockwell portrays Sam Bell, a worker on an isolated moon station. Bell is alone – totally alone. As one would expect, there is a price to pay for his solitude has its price. Slowly, Bell loses his grip on reality. He hallucinates and increasing gets confused about what he is doing.
The only company Bell enjoys is a boxy computer named Gerty, voiced by Kevin Spacey. Gerty is an obvious throwback to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL 3000 complete with a passive voice and mechanic responses. Gerty is little more than a computerized butler and is incapable of overcoming Bells building loneliness.
I am hesitant to delve too deeply into the plot as there are too many ways for me to ruin what is a very thoughtful, delicate script. I will say that director Duncan Jones handles Nathan Parker’s script perfectly. Given Parker worked off of Jones’ story idea, it’s not shocking their efforts blended seamlessly. The end result is remarkably good. Rockwell gives what is easily his best performance and I do think much of his success is rooted in the sharp script he gets to deliver.
I’ve seen enough films that I am confident that I can predict most final act outcomes. Honestly, I misread this one and I did not know where it was going. That alone forces me recommend it. Unpredictability is a seriously rare commodity these days.
If you enjoy intelligent, patient science fiction this should be on your short list of films you need to see.