• Ken Silvers

Moonshot


It isn't often a film is described as a "science fiction romantic comedy", but such is the case with the current film "Moonshot", starring Cole Sprouse of "Riverdale" and Lana Condor ("Alita: Battle Angel"). The film is set in the year 2049 and we are introduced to college student Walt (Sprouse), whose dream is to go to space. Walt feels his dream is obtainable via the Kovi Industries Student Mars Program, which sends college students to Mars. Despite his desire, he has been turned down 37 times to be a part of the program due to his lack of knowledge about furthering the exploration of Mars. Hey, he just loves outer space. One night during a college party Walt accidentally meets Sophie (Condor), an extremely intelligent student whose boyfriend Calvin (Mason Gooding) is already on Mars. The meeting between Sophie and Walt proves pivotal in his quest to reach the Red Planet. During the party Walt also meets a student named Ginny (Emily Rudd), and has an instant crush. Despite the instant crush, Walt discovers Ginny is headed to Mars the very next day, leaving him crushed. After a few weeks have passed, Sophie talks to Walt at the cafe where he works and reveals Calvin has accepted an extended stay offer on Mars, leaving her heartbroken. Despite the setback, Walt convinces Sophie to buy a ticket to Mars to be with Calvin. After convincing Sophie to head to Mars, Walt devises a plan to stowaway on the next ship after he hears about a cat that sneaked on board one of the ships. Walt, unknown to her, uses Sophie to sneak onboard her ship, and is soon himself headed to Mars to meet up with Ginny and fulfill his dream of traveling in outer space. As expected, Sophie discovers Walt has stowed away and makes him stay in her cabin in order to stay out of trouble and keep his presence lowkey during the journey. Walt's presence on the ship is discovered by the showy captain of the ship (Michelle Buteau), who thinks Walt is actually Calvin. As the journey continues, Walt learns more about Calvin and feels he is not good for Sophie, who has dreams of her own not connected to her boyfriend. After several humorous moments on the ship, the trip to Mars ends and Walt and Sophie depart after Walt is discovered and arrested. After his arrest and her moving in with Calvin's parents, some really positive things happen for Walt, and Sophie eventually realizes she may have made a mistake. I will not reveal anything else that happens to the duo, other than to say we all know they will eventually be a couple. How they get there will be up to you to discover. I really enjoyed how this film was sweet but not in the smaltchy way of a Hallmark movie. The special effects are top notch, and the representation of Mars in the film is spectacular. I must say the film is totally owned by Sprouse, allowing the actor to break away from his uber serious Jughead Jones character on "Riverdale ''. His performance as the well-meaning but often ditzy Walt is wonderful, and he would be the kind of friend we would all enjoy having. His co-star is also effective, but portrayed in a more low key manner by the excellent Condor. In fact Condor's character is often so low key, she is often overpowered by Sprouse. NIckpicking aside, I found "Moonshot" to be a pleasant and fun film for Sprouse and rom-com fans. Now playing on HBO Max. (Rated PG-13)

4/5