South Korea has without question been the home of some of the best movies of the last 10 years but with that said not every film from the region is going to be a home run.
A perfect example of this is the film The Moon. Many may remember the 2013 film ‘Gravity’ which saw the character of Sandra Bullock deep in the hardest space with limited options of how to get back to Earth safely. While that film got Academy Award recognition, it is safe to say that the same will not be said for 2023’s ‘The Moon.’
The premise of having a film set in space is a daring one, but if you don’t keep audiences engaged with it and thrilling story then you have committed the cardinal sin of making a film about space early boring. ‘The Moon’ is a film set in the near future of South Korea’s first manned mission to the moon.
However, the mission ends in a tragic disaster when an explosion occurs on board killing all three astronauts on board. 5 years later, a second human spaceflight is launched successfully but a strong solar wind causes it to malfunction. The blast causes the deaths of two other astronauts leaving Sun-woo (Do Kyung-soo) is left stranded as the last man standing in space.
Facing another fatal catastrophe, the Naro Space Center turns to its former managing director Kim Jae-guk (Sol Kyung-gu) to help bring Sun-woo back home safely. However, after a failed attempt, Sun-woo only has one opportunity to make it back home and any error in calculation will be fatal.
The focus of this movie is entirely out of whack due to the fact that the film tries to tell the back story of several different characters as this Disaster is happening in space. What this does is constantly pulls the audience out of the situation that is happening with the character of Sun-Woo and dropping them in and out of a disastrous experience in space to the frantic work of what is happening on Earth.
When you look at a film like Gravity the film does an impressive job of keeping the focus on one character And letting the stage set for us just how dire the situation truly is. ‘The Moon’ makes the mistake of putting the focus on too many characters rather than the character that is the most important to the plot which is the man stuck on the moon.
‘The Moon’ is ultimately a film where the special effects are doing the heavy lifting and keeping the audience engaged in the movie. There are certainly impressive sequences throughout the film such as the meteorite attack which sees our protagonist Under Siege of a multitude of high-flying rocks that can’t even be seen in the darkness of space.
When the film tries to flip the switch on the more dramatic elements of the story that only seek to take away from the problem at hand, the film becomes a creative and jumbled mess. There are certainly some very strong films in 2023 that comes out of the South Korean region however ‘The Moon’ does too much and accomplishes two little to be considered one of those top films.