Movie Review: ‘Moonwalkers’

moonwalkers_ver3Following the conspiracy theory of the 1969 U.S. moon landing being filmed, Moonwalkers follows a CIA agent’s attempt to locate Stanley Kubrick. After being tricked by a low-ranking manger, the two have to team up and somehow film the production. 

An intriguing set-up surely, yet Moonwalkers never is able to find its footing. While it brings  a great deal of energy and promise to the table, the film ultimately succumbs to its own bombastic tendencies.

At the center is a surprisingly winning tandem, however. Ron Pearlman is perfectly casted as Agent Kidman, with his huge stature and constant snarling matching the character’s violent tendencies like a glove. Ruppert Grint has not gotten many opportunities since his days at Hogwarts, yet is effective as the clumsy Jonny. Grint brings the same buffoonish energy we’ve seen before, but it’s a niche that he executes nicely. Both Pearlman and Grint make a surprisingly satisfying odd couple, creating some of the film’s few laughs.

Set in the era of rampant drug use and free love, first time director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet throws the kitchen sink trying to create a sense of style. Clearly inspired by the likes of Guy Ritchie, Bardou-Jacquet keeps the action moving at a rapid pace. He creates a real sense of swagger, capturing the absurdest aspects of the era and the situation itself. 

Similar to Ritchie however, Bardou-Jacquet’s chase for creating a signature style gets in the way of his film. Veering between silly raunchy bits and loud action setpieces, the tone-deaf execution lacks focus. Aesthetic choices such as Kidman’s PTSD flashbacks from war are thrown in without any rhyme or reason. It’s a busy effort, but lacking a deftness to make all the elements come together.

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Moonwalkers is certainly not helped much by its script. Known for the adequate Death at a Funereal (and its terrible remake), scribe Dean Craig has a penchant for trying to create absurdist humor. These attempts fall flat here, with a shameful focus on gross-out jokes that never work. Craig’s setup is intriguing, yet ultimately  marred by clunky delivery and a heaping of plot holes. The film ultimately settles with a forced action-packed third act conclusion, which ends up feeling more stomach-turning than amusing.

Moonwalkers makes an earnest attempt at creating a cheeky good time, with both the director and writer seemingly being on the same page. The duo however, create a busy, overtly juvenile affair that will only appeal to some. Most who are interested in the film’s concept will ultimately be disappointed by the execution.

Rating: 5/10 

Matt Conway has been writing about entertainment and sports on the internet for nearly four years. Growing up a film and television fan in the wonderful state of Massachusetts, he grew a strong attachment to personal dramas. Teaming up his fandom for the world of entertainment along with his love of writing was just an all too natural fit for Matt. He can be often found at the local cineplex, eating at the local restaurants or playing basketball at any basketball court across Mass.