A CIA agent tries to recruit Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing,
only to be forced to work with hippies when he fails to locate Kubrick.
Directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet
Written by Dean Craig
Starring Ron Perlman, Rupert Grint, Robert Sheehan,
Tom Audenaert, Erika Sainte, Kevin Bishop, James Cosmo,
Eric Lampaert, Jay Benedict, Stephen Campbell Moore,
For a film that's built on a bogus conspiracy theory, Moonwalkers isn't half bad. It certainly needs a great deal of work to be great, but it's entertaining due to its stellar performances and unique subject matter. The opening sequence alone drew me in immediately, if only because its heavily reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Moonwalkers is very much a film built on the adage that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, which isn't something you want to happen when you're faking the most important human achievement of all time.
Ron Perlman plays CIA agent Kidman, a disgruntled Vietnam vet who is duped into giving two scumbags a briefcase full of money, believing them to be Stanley Kubrick and his agent, whom the CIA wants to hire to fake the moon landing in case the real one fails. That way, we can still beat the Russians. When Kidman realizes the scam and the money is stolen by criminals, he's forced to work with wannabe rock band manager Jonny (Rupert Grint) and a triage of irritating hippies to pull off the film. Perlman delivers a hilarious performance that surprised the hell outta me. I never thought he'd be good at comedy. His chemistry with Grint makes the movie entertaining.
The biggest problem with Moonwalkers is its various unfocused subplots. The whole thing with the crime syndicate led by James Cosmo didn't fit well with the government-led con. Also, besides Perlman and Grint, the characters were very annoying and the film ends abruptly, with the real moon landing having succeeded anyway, making the entire film pointless. I guess that's the laugh, but I wanted something to come out of it. Instead, the film ends with a shoehorned in shoot-out between the CIA and the English mob, followed by a supercut of actual moon landing coverage from 1969. With more focus and better writing, this really could've been something special.