Watching Moon 44, one can imagine Roland Emmerich sitting in a Bonn theater during Blade Runner, loudly opining he can do the same thing. Only with an incompetent German crew.
There’s nothing good about Moon 44, as it doesn’t turn out to be a romance between nebbish Dean Devlin and brooding Michael Paré. If it were a gay romance, it’d at least be innovative. Instead, Devlin just moons over Paré, likely due to a combination of bad acting, bad directing and terrible writing.
The script’s so bad Lisa Eichhorn is terrible. She’s even worse than Paré, who’s still better than Devlin and Leon Rippy. Rippy is really awful.
It’s hard to determine the order of bad performances, actually. But Malcolm McDowell is okay, which is surprising, and Roscoe Lee Browne maintains composure in a tiny role.
Brian Thompson might give the best performance of the principals.
The special effects are a great example of why budget and competence are important. Shockingly, Emmerich and cinematographer Karl Walter Lindenlaub are able to give a sense of scale, but the mechanicals of the effects are just bad. You can’t see the wires on the “flying” spacecraft, but the restricted movement makes them obvious. Moon 44, except the recognizable (if bad) actors, looks like a hobbyist home movie. An electric train set, only with spaceships.
Joel Goldsmith’s score, though derivative, isn’t bad. It’s better than the movie deserves.
The big surprise is Eichhorn. One feels embarrassed for her. The rest being awful is expected.
Directed by Roland Emmerich; screenplay by Dean Heyde and Oliver Eberle, based on a story by Heyde, Eberle, Emmerich and P.J. Mitchell; director of photography, Karl Walter Lindenlaub; edited by Tomy Wigand; music by Joel Goldsmith; production designer, Oliver Scholl; produced by Heyde and Emmerich; released by Warner Bros.
Starring Michael Paré (Felix Stone), Lisa Eichhorn (Terry Morgan), Dean Devlin (Tyler), Brian Thompson (Jake O’Neal), Malcolm McDowell (Major Lee), Stephen Geoffreys (Cookie), Leon Rippy (Master Sergeant Sykes), Jochen Nickel (Scooter Bailey), Mehmet Yilmaz (Marc), John March (Moose Haggerty), Drew Lucas (Riffle), David Williamson (Lt. Gallagher) and Roscoe Lee Browne (The Chairman).