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Review: Moonwalkers

Moonwalkers
01.12.2016
7 10

PLOT: In an effort to lead the race for the first man to walk on the surface of the moon, an on the edge CIA agent attempts to track down famed director Stanley Kubrick. What he finds instead is a failing rock band manager and his wacky pals. Soon, this strange group attempt to recreate a fake moon landing to put the US ahead of the space game.

REVIEW: Conspiracy theories of whether or not man walked on the moon have been around since the very first televised images. This particular theory has proven to make a pretty darn entertaining film, whether you subscribe to it or not.. There is plenty of fun in MOONWALKERS, an action/comedy featuring Rupert Grint as a desperate rock band manager and Ron Perlman as an unhinged CIA agent. With a well earned R-rating, this flick offers up a bit of bloody violence and decent amount of T & A. For Grint, it is a nice change of pace that proves the actor can hold his own as a comedic leading man. It is also terrific to see Mr. Perlman embrace a little lunacy once again. This is the type of small film that can get lost in the rush to catch up on the Academy Award nominated flicks. While it is not likely to make a ton of top 10 lists by years end, it is definitely worth checking out.

Rupert Grint plays Jonny, a well-meaning but terribly inept band manager. After borrowing a ton of money from some very bad men, he must figure out a way to earn a lot of money quick. Keeping his hands attached to his arms depends on this. After the fallout of a failed gig with a pissed off lead singer (Eric Lampaert), he asks for a loan from a more successful manager Derek Kaye (Stephen Campbell Moore). Fortunately, or probably unfortunately, CIA agent Kidman (Perlman) mistakes Jonny for Derek - who happens to represent famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. He convinces Jonny to bring in “Kubrick” in a wild attempt to cinematically create a moon landing. Desperate for cash, Jonny convinces his pal Leon (Robert Sheehan) to pretend to be the director in order to collect the cash. What could possibly go wrong in this situation?

MOONWALKERS, directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, is a pleasurable comedy. Of course, the script by Dean Craig is full of really brutal killers, and there is certainly a bit of bloodshed. Thankfully however, the film manages to balance the humor and the mayhem successfully. And while the idea seems outlandish at times, it remains very grounded with the focus on both Kidman and Jonny. Of course, as crazy as this may seem, it is very likely inspired a number of stories. There is even the recent “discover” of a video interview circulating after Kubrick’s death. In the controversial, and extremely questionable interview, a man claiming to be the director said that the moon landings were faked in order to keep the US ahead of the race to walk on the moon. In fact, there are a number of stories and theories about Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s first walk on the surface of the moon back in 1969.

It is a real pleasure to see Rupert Grint grown up and far away from his work in the HARRY POTTER franchise. As a down-on-his-luck manager, he conveys a ton of vulnerability. Sure Jonny isn’t much of a stand-up guy, but you can’t help but kind of like him. As for Perlman, it is very entertaining watching the tough guy take on something comedic after his work on the hit series Sons of Anarchy, as well as a number of dramas and such. It may not be anything new for the intensely formidable actor, but the chemistry between he and Grint has is a whole lot of fun to watch. Hell, by the end of this fine feature, I was rooting for both of these characters to get out ahead.

The only major issue I had would be with the ridiculously campy nature of a group of “hippies” that they ultimately come across. The creation of the controversial moon walk video seems to happen much too fast as well. You have the obligatory music montage, and a bunch of silliness that doesn’t work as well as it should. If anything, this entire sequence feels a bit forced and too quick. Even still, Perlman has a very humorous bit involving drugs that makes up for some of the uninspired insanity.

MOONWALKERS is an entertaining feature, one that plays with history in a clever way. It can be  brutal at times - there are more than a couple of bloody kills - but more than anything it is a charming flick. Thanks to the film’s leads and a strong supporting cast, there is much to enjoy here. With just over an hour and forty-five minute running time, this is an easy film to take in, one that moves quickly. Occasionally the strangeness of the late-Sixties and all that free love energy feels only slightly more subtle than an AUSTIN POWERS movie, but it's still engaging. Thankfully, this is better than the usual January dump release. With Grint and Perlman making quite the dynamic duo, this is one walk on the moon worth taking.

Source: JoBlo.com

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