2015 comedy

Rating: 14/20

Plot: Losing confidence in the Apollo 11 mission and fearing that the Russians will make it to the moon before America and make us look like a bunch of dicks, the government sends a troubled CIA agent to fetch Stanley Kubrick and create some moonwalking footage. A desperate agent of a rock band and his pal who, like Kubrick, has a beard, get involved which leads to all sorts of wackiness.

This has potential cult classic written all over it, but it almost seems like that's precisely why it was made. As a movie that brings a conspiracy theory to life and then twists it with a Three's Company-esque case of mistaken identity, it really doesn't have much of a chance to be anything else. It's certainly got an odd rhythm with a bit of screwballery mixed with something closer to British humor although the latter might just be because it takes place in England and has Harry Potter's friend in it. It's one of those movies where you kind of have to let yourself flow in its groove. Psychedelic rock, 60's period excursions, a few musical nods to Kubrick's films, a computer-enhanced drug trip or two, and several odd auxiliary characters contribute to giving this one an oddball feel that definitely won't appeal to everybody.

If you are conditioned for this sort of thing, there's plenty to like here. Ron Perlman's at his bulky best, just a big old chunk of brutish mumbles. He's appropriately ultraviolent here, breaking bones and shooting off heads, and he gets to put on a hippie, puffy-sleeved shirt. Rupert Grint's good as the character who really drives the story. You have no confidence that he can get anything done or even survive the story, but although he's unlikable and unscrupulous, you almost want to root for him anyway. Robert Sheehan is the funniest as the guy who sort of looks like Stanley Kubrick but who really doesn't. I nearly feel in love with Erika Sainte, likely because we get to follow her up the stairs for what seems like an outrageous amount of time, and some guy named Tom Audenaert plays the experimental filmmaker role that seems to have been written for Galifianakis well enough.

This movie's a little all over the place, and if you think about the plot or its characters enough, things will fall apart and feel as unlikely as the chances that man has ever walked on the moon. But watching the avant-stupid film-within-a-film "Bounce" (twice if you count the credits), that wacky drug trip, and the moonwalking climax that had me laughing uncontrollably even though I felt stupider doing it made this comedy worth the watch.

Oh, I also liked the animated opening credits. They looked like something straight out of Pepperland.

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