Walt (Cole Sprouse) meets Ginny (Emily Rudd), the girl of his dreams, the night before she moves to Mars to follow her dreams of being an astronaut. Desperate to get out of his dead-end job as a barista, Walt meets Sophie (Lana Condor), a girl who is missing her boyfriend Calvin (Mason Gooding) who is already on Mars. Walt convinces Sophie to buy a ticket to Mars and unable to afford one himself, he sneaks into the air ducts and reveals himself once the shuttle has launched. Putting Sophie in an awkward position, Walt has to pretend he’s meant to be on the flight so he isn’t detected and can reunite with Ginny.
‘Moonshot’ is a quirky twist on the classic romantic comedy courtesy of director Christopher Winterbauer and writer Max Taxe. As with every rom-com, it’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen from the moment Walt and Sophie meet but that doesn’t mean the fun is diminished from watching it unfold. The two characters are complete opposites so the good old-fashioned opposites attract device is utilised to good effect here. Walt is convinced that he and Ginny are meant to be, while Sophie is excited to reunite with her boyfriend Calvin who is living on Mars with his entire family.
The film is stronger in the first half. Once Walt has sneaked onto the shuttle, there’s lots of sparks that fly between him and Sophie as they try to cover up his deception and keep themselves out of trouble. The script is razor sharp at times, gifting the leads with witty one-liners that almost always land. Sprouse is no stranger to reeling off dialogue thanks to his time on ‘Riverdale’ and his easy charm is evident here too, even if he is playing a slightly lighter version of Jughead.
Putting ‘Riverdale’ star Cole Sprouse and ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ in the lead roles was a smart move as both have huge fanbases that will likely flock to check the film out. It’s largely their performances that elevate ‘Moonshot’ beyond the usual rom-com because they have a zippy chemistry that carries the film. Sprouse leans into his comedic abilities as Walt while Condor is instantly likeable as the conflicted Sophie. There’s solid support from Mason Gooding and Emily Rudd too, despite the fact that neither actors gets all that much screen time, and Zach Braff has a scene-stealing small role during the film’s climax.
‘Moonshot’ is a solid-enough romantic comedy. It’s unlikely to go down as a classic but during a year where the genre is having a much-needed comeback, the film will likely hit its core audience with ease. The likeability of Sprouse and Condor is the main draw here and the film should be given credit for trying something a little different. If you want a film that will keep you entertained and make you feel warm-and-fuzzy without changing your world, this would be a good choice.
Cast: Cole Sprouse, Lana Condor, Mason Gooding, Emily Rudd Director: Christopher Winterbauer Writer: Max Taxe Certificate: 12A Duration: 104 mins Released by: Warner Bros Home Entertainment Release date: 25th April 2022 Buy ‘Moonshot’ now