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  • Robert Lynch

Review – In the Shadow of the Moon (Spoilers)

I was going to review Back to the Future this week, but that franchise can keep. I watched In the Shadow of the Moon this morning starring Boyd Holbrook and Cleopatra Coleman.

A detective confronts a murderer in 1988, who then returns and kills again in 1997, 2006, and 2015. The murderer is killed in 1988, making her return seem very unlikely. It turns out that she is moving backwards in time, jumping back 9 years each time, while everyone else is moving forward. Each jump the murderer reveals a little more to the detective about the future. As the movie progresses we see injuries the murderer has in her first encounter happen in jumps years before.

The climax of the movie is when the detective finds out that the murderer is actually his granddaughter, coming back in time to prevent a home grown terrorist attack that happened in 2024. This is the point where the movie lost me. The detective, now aware that the murderer is his granddaughter, is just cool with the murders now.

Apparently it’s cool to let your family murder people, it’s only bad if it’s a stranger?

The time travel plot is quite thin, apparently when the gravity of the moon is just right it allows for time travel. Is it just our moon or does it work with any mass in the solar system? Since the gravity of the moon changes very little as it orbits, why only when the moon is at its closest? And why is the pattern always on his daughter’s birthday, that’s not how the moon works, it’s not a full moon on the same day every year, or even every nine years.

Then we get into the morality of killing people in the past for what they might do in the future. The movie tries to argue that this group of people will kill 11,000 people in their attacks, leading to a devastating civil war. Let’s say that’s true, she is murdering people in 1988 for an action in 2024. Surely there’s a moratorium on killing people three decades before they commit a crime. I mean the age old question of whether it’s OK to kill baby Hitler was forefront in my mind watching this film, and these people still don’t seem in the same league as Hitler.

The movie is also about changing the future, but when the detective tells the murderer that she will die she says she can’t change that because it happened in the past, even though it’s her future. Why can she change future events then? I wasn’t even clear if she succeeded in the end. The time machine was only developed by the physicist because of the murderer changing time. Her attempts to change the past didn’t change anything that happened in any subsequent time. It seemed to me that as much as she tried to change time she couldn’t, but I don’t think that movie was trying to end like that.

This movie is a big mess and I was pretty bored, definitely not a must watch movie.



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