Moon Crash (2022) poster

Moon Crash (2022)

Rating:


USA. 2022.

Crew

Director/Photography – Noah Luke, Screenplay – Lauren Pritchard & Joe Roche, Producer – David Michael Latt, Photography – Noah Luke, Music – Tim Carlos & Mikel Shane Prather, Visual Effects Supervisor – Glenn Campbell, Production Design – Alexandra Regazzoni. Production Company – The Asylum.

Cast

Tyler Christopher (Steve Sawyer), Pauline Egan (Amanda Sawyer), Jamison Jones (Logan Sawyer), Jeremy London (General Madden), Marisha Shine (Nina), Jenny Tran (Jing), Alexa Marie Anderson (Carrie), Joe Finfera (Dave), Sierra Collins (Christine), Riccardo Herraz (Dominic), Azeem Veccho (Bobby)


Plot

The Taurus Corporation has established a mining operation on The Moon. Sawyer Aerospace has been employed to provide transport between Earth and The Moon. However, the Taurus miners push their drilling operation to excess speed and cause a massive fault line to open up in the Moon’s surface. A large chunk of the Moon’s surface breaks off and heads on a collision course with Earth. The Sawyer ship is damaged during the breakaway. Advance debris strikes near where Sawyer Aerospace CEO Steve Sawyer is visiting his estranged wife Amanda at the observatory she runs in the Mojave Desert. With debris impacting all around the world, The Pentagon wants to fire a nuclear missile to deflect the meteor but Steve pleads that this will have disastrous consequences on the Earth. Steve contacts his brother Logan, the pilot of the ship on The Moon. Steve and the other astronauts seek to improvise a solution to deflect the meteor using what they have to hand.


Since the early 2000s, the low-budget US production company The Asylum has been known for their output of Mockbusters – films that come out with titles intended to mimic those of big-budget releases in the hope that people will mistake them or not look too closely. In between these, they essentially created the Gonzo Killer Shark film, as popularised by their bad movie hit Sharknado (2013), and have made an assortment of monster films and disaster movies.

The disaster movie has become the province of the Syfy Channel and other channels during the latter half of the 2000s through the 2010s. In this time, there have been a great many cheap and usually formulaic efforts churned out. (For a more detailed listing of these, see my essay Disaster Movies). The Asylum has dabbled in a number of these with the likes of Titanic II (2009), 100° Below 0 (2012), 500 MPH Storm (2013), Airplane vs Volcano (2013), Asteroid vs Earth (2014), San Andreas Quake (2015), Geo-Disaster (2017), Oceans Rising (2017), Apocalypse of Ice (2020), Asteroid-a-Geddon (2020), Collision Earth (2020), Titanic 666 (2022) and 20.0 Megaquake (2022).

With almost every film that Roland Emmerich has made, The Asylum have offered up one of their mockbuster copies – after Emmerich made 10,000 B.C. (2008), they offered up 100 Million B.C. (2008); they made several 2012 (2009) mockbusters with 2012 Doomsday (2007), 2012 Supernova (2009) and 2012: Ice Age (2011); Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) begat Independents’ Day (2016); and Emmerich’s Midway (2019) was followed by their D-Day (2019). In the time they have been around, the only Emmerich films The Asylum haven’t copied have been Anonymous (2011), White House Down (2013) and Stonewall (2015).

Moon fragments strike San Francisco in Moon Crash (2022)
Moon fragments strike San Francisco

In this case, Moon Crash was made around the anticipated release of Emmerich’s Moonfall (2022) – The Asylum also released another mockbuster Meteor Moon (2020) around the same time. Unfortunately for The Asylum, Moonfall ended up being a box-office non-starter, killing any attempt to climb aboard the bandwagon. That said, The Asylum’s mockbusters of Moonfall actually ended up being more entertaining than the real article was.

This was Noah Luke’s second film for The Asylum as director – he had previously worked with the company as a cinematographer. Prior to this, Luke had directed the entertaining Jungle Run (2021) and went on to make Attack on Titan (2022), Battle for Pandora (2022), Thor: God of Thunder (2022) and Doomsday Meteor (2023). The script comes from Joe Roche who has quickly become the most ingenious among the writers working at The Asylum with scripts for the aforementioned Meteor Moon along with Collision Earth (2020), Alien Conquest (2021), Devil’s Triangle (2021), Planet Dune (2021), Robotapocalypse (2021), 4 Horsemen: Apocalypse (2022), Battle for Pandora (2022), Attack of the Meth Gator (2023) and Doomsday Meteor (2023).

I had enjoyed Noah Luke’s previous film Jungle Run and anticipated Moon Crash on the basis of another Joe Roche script. And neither of them let down on expectations. The entire film is economically contained in about three sets – at the observatory (and later out in the open desert), aboard the ship downed on The Moon, and in The Pentagon (featuring the film’s sole name actor Jeremy London as a general with very non-US Army regulation beard). The effects are of a high quality, especially during the opening scenes on The Moon.

The pleasure of Joe Roche’s scripts is always their mix of science and engineering solutions that sound almost plausible. These include plans to repurpose the mining laser used on The Moon to break-up the asteroid; the ship developing a magnetic attraction that accumulates the pieces of solar mirror around it to turn it into a giant mirror to reflect enough sunlight to burn up the meteor (something that in actuality would probably cook the crew inside); and a scheme that requires a jury-rigged EM pulse to deflect the course of the meteor into the path of the mirror array.


Trailer here


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