MOVIE: Killing Moon (2001)

Hey, everybody!  As evidenced by the fact I finally got that Michael Clayton review posted, I’m back from vacation.  The first week back after a week off is always crazy, though, which is why it took me this long to start working on reviews from the movies I saw last week.  Mom and I watched NINE of ’em, believe it or not, and that isn’t even a record for us (I think the record is thirteen)!  I’ll be putting up reviews of all nine over the next 2-3 days, if all goes as planned.  They won’t be in any particular order, but I’ll be ranking them in order from best (1) to worst (9) just for fun.  Incidentally, just in case you like to get a heads-up about the super-dogs, there was actually a tenth movie (Solar Attack), but it was so bad even we — WE!! — couldn’t sit through it.  Now THAT’S bad, people!

This movie was also pretty bad — with a title like Killing Moon, could there really be any doubt? — but it was still watchable.  Though it’s a fairly standard virus movie, at least they took the time to try to come up with an interesting killer bug.  Points for that.  Though, not many.

It starts out with two bad dudes in an airport, one of whom is coughing when the scene opens, and dead with blood running out of his eyes by the time the scene concludes.  The other, freaked out by his partner’s untimely demise, stuffs his pal’s body into a bathroom stall and boards his plane, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.  But it’s only a matter of minutes after the flight is in the air before he too begins to shake and cough — and then bleed.  Before he dies, he manages to hack out some final words:  “A vial . . . *cough*. . . we stole it . . . *hack* . . .” Hey, at least now the passengers don’t have to waste any time wondering if the guy merely died of something pedestrian, like the flu or TB.  Instead, they can skip right over that step and go straaaaaaight to panic.

On the plane are all the usual suspects — the characters you typically find in a bad virus movie and/or an airplane disaster flick.  You have Irrational Anger Man, Unaccompanied Minor, Guy in Uniform, Cute Doctor, Sweet Married Couple, and Just Tried to Commit Suicide But Now Really Really Wants to Live Dude.  Blah blah, virus starts making them all sick, blah blah.  Down on the ground, the NSA has sent an agent (Baldwin) who has reluctantly teamed up with a scientist from the CDC (Miller).  The CDC lady is hard at work trying to save the passengers, while the NSA guy is hard at work trying to figure out if it’s a new virus he can steal for the government.   Just in case we still don’t get that he’s part of a huge government conspiracy, in comes his partner, played by Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files.  Check!

The rest of the movie is pretty much what you’d expect, though there is a nice twist at the end when Just Following Orders Guy decides to get a pair and save the day.  But for the most part, the only reason to watch this movie is to mock it, which is, of course, exactly what we did.  It started with Guy in Uniform, who was clearly wearing a set of wings on his military jacket and yet didn’t seem to actually BE a pilot (we decided to call them jump wings and pretend he was in the Airborne instead, for the sake of our own sanity).  And then there’s the virus itself, which involves a genetic mutation that somehow manages to cause radiation sickness at the cellular level.  It’s a unique idea, I guess, but we spent at least ten minutes trying to figure out how that might work, and only got as far as deciding it would have to somehow disconnect or destroy hydrogen atoms in the body.   We even called in Dad, Retired Science Teacher, all to no avail.  And while the science in bad movies doesn’t HAVE to be completely plausible for us to play along, we do really prefer it when they at least make an effort to insert some sense. 

Nevertheless, despite it’s badness, it could’ve been a whole lot worse, and of the nine we watched last week, this one ranks at number 6.   Not too shabby.  Stay tuned for reviews of the other 8 — I promise, they weren’t ALL crap!

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Sci-fi/virus
Cast:  Penelope Ann Miller, Daniel Baldwin, Cigarette Smoking Man, Kim Coates, Dennis Akayama

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