FLY ME TO THE MOON

★★★

BLAST OFF FOR A CHARMING LAUNCH

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
9th July 2024

Arguably one of the biggest conspiracy theories is that the moon landing was faked. Since as early as 1976, people have ripped apart the footage of the United States' monumental moon mission, truly dissecting every photo and piece of information. It's so incredibly widespread that it's hard to talk about the moon landing without these theories, and 'Fly Me to the Moon' takes this idea and runs with it.

In 'Fly Me to the Moon', Kelly Jones (Scarlett Johansson, 'Asteroid City', 'Black Widow') is working her way through the adverting industry when she is approached by Moe Berkus (Woody Harrelson, 'Champions', 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'), who works for the U.S. president. Her task: to sell NASA to the world ahead of the Apollo 11 mission. She is met with many challenges, including trying to bring the corporate and science worlds together, often butting heads with Cole Davies (Channing Tatum, 'Magic Mike's Last Dance', 'The Lost City'). But as she continues to successfully market NASA, she is given an even tougher task - to pull off a faked moon landing, just in case anything untoward happens.

SWITCH: 'FLY ME TO THE MOON' (2024) TRAILER

'Fly Me To The Moon' might not completely sell its fabricated story, but it sure does have a lot of charm. Johansson and Tatum are two very charismatic actors and both sell it here; the flaw is the romantic angle. The two don't lack chemistry but the film just seems so uninterested in it, and the two just barely spend time, romantically, together. The focus isn't even on "faking" the landing, it's about selling NASA to the world, and because the film is populated with so many charming side characters it really makes this a fun sit. Ray Romano ('The Irishman', 'The Big Sick') is just another actor who is so loveable, and while a small part is really delightful to see. The scene stealer is Jim Rash ('Bros', 'Long Weekend'), just an absolute blast and the biggest laughs come whenever he is on screen.

'Fly Me To The Moon' is really worth seeing on the big screen not just for those theatrical moments but also its comedy. Laughing in a cinema with other people is always so much enjoyable.

Romantic comedies are the biggest genre struggling to remain stable in the cinematic landscape following the streaming invasion. 'Fly Me To The Moon' really does a lot with its cinematic world; its editing is incredibly slick and has a really fun quality to it. Seeing the moon landing is truly breathtaking every time, and to hear a rocket launching in a cinema is always worth it. Theatrical rom-coms post-pandemic are throwing up a lot of tricks to keep their films from ending up as streaming films, and 'Fly Me To The Moon' is really worth seeing on the big screen not just for those theatrical moments but also its comedy. Laughing in a cinema with other people is always so much enjoyable.

The film does overstay its welcome - clocking in at 132 minutes, it's way too long. The film has a subplot of Kelly's past and it truly adds nothing and weighs the runtime down a lot. On a more personal note, this is Greg Berlanti's first directing gig since 'Love, Simon' in 2018, which is my most re-watched film on Letterboxd, and as a follow-up this feels like an odd choice. Nonetheless, Berlanti does a great job here, but as his first film after one of my personal favourites, this wasn't what I would have expected from him.

'Fly Me To The Moon' is a blast - a rocky one, but a fun package. If rom-coms are your thing, grab your girls and see this on a Friday night have a blast.

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