Moonshot Film Review


Image Courtesy of IMDB

By Ali Wire

The science-fiction rom-com “Moonshot” premiered on HBO Max on March 31. Starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor, the story follows two very different college students as they quite literally stumble through space together chasing after love.

Moonshot beautifully handles the difficulties of college applications, jobs and new opportunities, as well as ways of processing rejection and grief.

In the year 2049 on Earth, protagonist Walt played by Sprouse is working at a coffee shop and resenting the fact that he has been rejected 37 times by the Kovi Industries Student Mars Program.

His dream to live on Mars seems to have died until he meets Sophie played by Lana Condor, a pragmatic and calculated Ph.D. candidate with a direct opportunity to visit Walt’s dream planet.

After stowing away on Sophie’s space shuttle, Walt takes on the identity of her long-term boyfriend. The two navigate social and physical obstacles to disguise Walt and arrive at Mars safely, developing an unlikely bond along the way.

While Sprouse’s portrayal is whimsical and fluffy, Condor’s controlled performance contrasts well and creates very believable opposites attract trope. Their relationship is quirky and the two bounce energetic quips back and forth with ease.

The metaphorical change the two go through slowly burns throughout the entire film, easing us into a comfortable vulnerability between the two.

Cinematography is the top highlight of the film, with its appealing use of color and tasteful environments. Subtle tone shifts of blues and oranges create entirely different environments as the characters explore Earth, space and Mars.

Much of the interstellar design is created with the use of metals and LED lights, giving an aesthetically pleasing and slightly futuristic look to each set.

The storyline itself is anything but original. The plot follows the paths many romantic comedies have set out before and leaves the audience with an easy and predictable storyline, despite its quirky twists and turns.

Moonshot doesn’t need to be masked in obscurity or complexity to get its message across. The film encourages themes of preservation, exploration and self-advocacy. While it may not be the most original story or piece that makes audiences think, it is lighthearted and overall feels good to watch.

However, there are definitely more negative messages spread throughout the film as well that may be misinterpreted by its target audience. The romanticization of stalking and infidelity is apparent throughout the film.

As Walt blatantly ignores boundaries being drawn and Sophie consistently doubts her relationship without speaking with her partner. As the film draws in a young adult crowd, it may also encourage toxic romantic behavior.

Overall, Moonshot is a cute film that can be appreciated on the surface level. Digging any deeper than that may bring up some rather questionable flaws to its story and underlying message.

Moonshot is available to stream on HBO Max.