A space salvage expert and his partner become involved with a group of criminals intent on hijacking a small asteroid made of sapphire and crashing it into the moon for later recovery. The ... See full summary »
A space salvage expert and his partner become involved with a group of criminals intent on hijacking a small asteroid made of sapphire and crashing it into the moon for later recovery. The only place that they can bring the asteroid down without drawing attention to themselves is a far side mining claim. But first they must dispose of the miner. Little known to them, however, is the fact that the miners sister has hired the same salvage team to help her locate her missing brother. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
Curious space western which shows flashes of imagination, but is infuriatingly infantile most of the time.
1969 was a year for classic westerns, with such titles as True Grit, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and The Wild Bunch. It was also the year of the first space western. Moon Zero Two is a bizarre offering from Hammer studios, who evidently wanted to try out something a little different to their traditional horror fare. The film starts well with a genuinely likable cartoon credits sequence (a la Pink Panther), but then the real business actually starts and it's a downhill affair from there onwards. Classic western this most definitely ain't!
Kemp (James Olson) and Karminski (Ori Levy) are a couple of space pilots who eke out an existence by collecting floating space junk and ferrying passengers aboard their battered old space shuttle Moon Zero Two. In between jobs, they while away their time at the bar in Moon City (it's 2021, you see, and the moon has been extensively colonised). A wealthy businessman, J.J. Hubbard (Warren Mitchell), approaches the Moon Zero Two pilots asking them to help him to intercept and divert a geologically valuable asteroid so that it will crash land on the dark side of the moon. But is there more to his request than meets the eye?
What's most dismaying about Moon Zero Two is that occasionally it displays some genuinely ingenious flashes of imagination but does nothing with them. Just look at the crazy drinks served at the bar; the high-speed train from settlement to settlement; the inter-planetary space shuttle service; and even some of the interestingly designed costumes. Yet the film refuses to pursue any of these fascinating ideas. Instead, it is perfectly happy to plod along with its painfully conventional (not to mention juvenile) plot and dialogue, and its dismally inadequate special effects. There's something ultimately infuriating about the way that every intriguing idea in this film is counter-balanced by an equally predictable or banal one. In the end, Moon Zero Two emerges as a poor-to-mediocre affair, but it could've been oh so much more.
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