Moonwalkers full movie review - Moonwalkers: Brilliant Moving Art Mixed with Cheap Comedy
Excerpt from Cinematic Codes Review: Spring 2016 Issue: for visuals see:
Fig. 18. Stephen Campbell Moore, left, and Rupert Grint.
This film certainly makes a strong effort to become an art film. Just to paint the blood and bullets on so many walls, they needed to have some very strong painters on the team. The nudity and violence are also somehow artistic. For example, in a scene where Ron Perlman, as Kidman, is beating up a gang of bikers in a restroom, he does so in slow motion and to classical music. Freezing frames on the action shows that at his age, Perlman is extremely exhausted by pretending to hit them, and is more likely to pass out from this exercise to be a convincing hit-man; the elegant music and slow motion help to add suspense and beauty to the scene whereas if it was done at regular speed and with fast music, it would've looked ridiculous. In that same scene, Ron meticulously knocks out a string of teethes from the hooligans' mouths and each falls out as if they are components of a composition rather than body parts.
Fig. 19. Painted women.
The obvious thing that makes this a curious watch is the performance by Rupert Grint as Jonny. Rupert is best-known for his work as Ron in the Harry Potter series. I saw him in one or two other films since the series ended, and he seems to be getting chubbier and even developing some wrinkles at his young age. He is starting to play a type of comedic, sexless and confused buffoon, and this role seems to suit him. However, he isn't challenging himself or developing his craft. Watching him in several films is like watching an actor in a TV series. He under-acts and reacts to what other actors are telling him without showing any spikes in emotion. I hope he will get some serious acting training and will make a better showing in a future film because I'd really like to see him at his best.
Fig. 20. Eric Lampaert (back), Rupert Grint (middle) and Andrew Blumenthal (right).
It was very difficult to choose only a few images to illustrate this review because there were so many outrageous and simultaneously artistically unique moments. Two of the scenes I selected were of Perlman walking through a pile of nude women and then walking through a scattered set of dead bodies. It is always interesting to see artists or directors juxtaposition two themes, like sex and violence, in a similar pattern to stress the relationship between the two. This is tasteful nudity and bloodshed. On the other hand, both sex and violence do not have any natural place in the central plot of a CIA operative hiring a Stanley Kubrick lookalike to make a fake moon landing film for the U.S. government. On the other hand, it is a profound suggestion that only if US agents were on LCD, cocaine and the other illicit substances these characters partake in would they have managed to pull off a fake moon landing film. The absurdity also help to convince viewers that a fake landing would have been too difficult for the filmmakers of the time to pull off.
Fig. 21. Ron Perlman in a pile of nude women.
As Rupert Grint and his friend Leon, played by Robert Sheehan, are hopping around suspended by wires in the spacesuit, Grint exclaims about Robert's failed attempts to stick the American flag into the fake sand, "Just stick it in! It's not that hard." "I'm trying, but I can't," Robert replies. "I'm so sick. I'm gonna take off my helmet." "You can't take off your helmet," Grint pleads, trying to make him remember that they are supposed to be in space without an atmosphere. "I'm gonna be sick. Bleh!" Robert throws up inside of his supposed spacesuit. This scene shows how the script seems to be in a different movie from the cinematography and the art department. The dialogue is simplistic and formulaic, while the images are dynamic are carefully designed.
Fig. 22. Rupert Grint acting as the first man on the moon.
This is why it is difficult to rank films as a whole. If I was ranking the script, it would get two stars. The art department would get the full five stars. The acting is probably somewhere around a three. Because filmmaking is a collaborative art, the ranking for the whole is an average of these high and low points. It did succeed in showing a very unique concept in an original way, so I would recommend this film to anybody appropriately aged for an R feature.
Fig. 23. Ron Perlman in a pile of dead bodies (CIA and the mob).
Title: Moonwalkers Directed by: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet Writer: Dean Craig Stars: Rubert Grint (Jonny), Ron Perlman (Kidman), Robert Sheehan (Leon) Genre: Comedy Rating: R Running Time: 107 min Release: 2015