The Pitch: You know the moon? That big white round thing up in the sky you mostly only see at night? Well, what if it wanted the Earth dead? That’s kinda-sorta literally the plot of Moonfall, the latest disaster film from Roland Emmerich, who has previously weaponized aliens, monster-sized lizards, the British army, and climate change against the innocent people of this planet (mostly America).
So The Moon… Does What? The key innocent Earthlings, in today’s case, are former astronauts Jocinda “Jo” Fowler (Halle Berry) and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson). Ten years ago, they were on a space mission that ended in tragedy after something inexplicable and weird happened, and Brian took the blame — in the present day, their respective marriages have crumbled, and Brian’s struggling to get by, with his career in ruins after not being able to explain what happened in space.
Spoiler alert (if you didn’t see it coming): Said inexplicable incident was the beginning of all Earth’s upcoming moon-related problems! But no one realized at the time. Meanwhile, because Jo was knocked unconscious during the accident/attack and didn’t see anything weird, her career at NASA’s doing just fine, but when she and her colleagues there realize that there’s something weird going on with the moon’s orbit, they’re not the only ones.
For one thing, amateur scientists like K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, better known to most as Samwell Tarly of Game of Thrones) are also finding evidence that something strange is going on through their own research. For another, the changes in the moon’s orbit have a direct effect on the planet, leading to rising tides and “gravity waves” that cause untold amounts of disaster, making it a hard problem to ignore. Please do not ask for an explanation as to what a gravity wave is, just know it seriously screws stuff up.
So, in the midst of this disaster (never before have broadcast news reports been leaned upon so heavily in the name of exposition), K.C. is frantically trying to tell anyone who will listen about “mega-structures,” claiming that the moon is a hollow construct and not just a big round ball of rocks. Jo and Brian, having randomly encountered K.C. in his attempts to tell NASA his theory, end up teaming up with him for a Hail Mary plan to save the world.