Moonshot take the concept of "to the moon and back" quite literally. With the strength of its leading actors, Moonshot sets out to entertain in a fun, charming sci-fi rom-com that leans less on the sci-fi side of things.

Moonshot follows the adventures of Walt (Cole Sprouse) and Sophie (Lana Condor), an unlikely duo who come from different worlds, but are united by their misguided attempts to salvage their romantic relationships. Walt is a down-on-his-luck college student who is desperate to go to Mars for an adventure and to experience something that helps him find where he belongs. Sophie is a Type A overachiever who strives to do great things to save Earth with her boyfriend, Calvin (Mason Gooding). Walt and Sophie’s respective partners, Ginny (Emily Rudd) and Calvin are on Mars. To be with them, Sophie must overcome her fear of flying and Walt has to stow away. Forced to stick together for fear of Walt’s discovery the two embark on an emotional and funny journey of self-discovery, and maybe find love with each other.

Related: Every Song In Moonshot

Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse in Moonshot

Moonshot is aesthetically and visually pleasing, reminiscent of Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, the film embraces the use of contrasting colors, neon lightning, and quaint set designs to create a very lavish and Pinterest perfect version of space travel and exploration. Brendan Uegama’s cinematography, Eddie Matazzoni’s production design, and Stephani Lewis’ costume design welcome the cutesy screenplay to create a very enjoyable viewing experience.

Lana Condor brings that most beloved charm from her days playing Lara Jean in the To All The Boys films. Sophie is not too dissimilar from Lara Jean, she is just a tad bit more neurotic. Cole Sprouse is also playing a very familiar character, expertly utilizing his repertoire of previous roles. The two have chemistry, operating on the same wavelength, and they bring the right amount of sweetness and gravitas to the sci-fi romance. Their characters' struggles, no matter how trivial or serious, are easily expressed by the two actors.

Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor in Moonshot

Moonshot isn’t overly concerned with realism. The security protocols that allow Walt to stow away are simply not possible, and would hardly be presented in such a cutesy way if it ever were to succeed. However, no one watches a sci-fi rom-com about two lovelorn young adults who make the incredulous trip to Mars just because they can. And that’s a large part of the charm of the movie. Too often films that should focus on being unwaveringly entertaining get bogged down by trying to be accurate and realistic. In fact, Moonshot seems to have fun poking at that in a third act reveal regarding Walt’s stowaway journey.

The only thing working against Moonshot is that it is perhaps 15 minutes too long, with the third act fumbling to get everything tied up in a pretty bow. There is also the introduction of Zack Braff’s egomaniacal billionaire who takes up too much screen time, which could have been spent on Sophie reacclimatizing to being with her long-distance boyfriend. The third act spends too much time on Walt in the last leg of his emotional journey. Sophie and Walt both have a satisfying end, but Sophie’s is less engaging as the film loses sight of her and her journey as soon as the two touch base on Mars. Sophie doesn’t get the emotionally satisfactory conversation with Calvin that she is due — at least not onscreen.

All in all, Moonshot is a very cute, very well-made, and well-acted romantic comedy that happens to take place in space.  Condor and Sprouse light up the screen and make every cheesy remark or contrite dialogue feel natural and organic. An effort is made to make the most of the setting, the genre mix, and an ensemble of delightful actors. Ultimately, Moonshot is a very pleasant experience, despite it being misnamed since Walt and Sophie's adventure takes them to Mars, not the moon.

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Moonshot is available to stream on HBO Max as of March 31. The film is 104 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some strong language and suggestive material.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)
Key Release Dates
  • Moonshot (2022)Release date: Mar 31, 2022
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