In the Shadow of the Moon Netflix Movie Review
Watch In the Shadow of the Moon on Netflix
Written by: Gregory Weidman, Geoff Tock
Directed by: Jim Mickle
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael C. Hall
Watch the trailer
A Philadelphia police officer struggles with a lifelong obsession to track down a mysterious serial killer whose crimes defy explanation.
This is such a great idea that just doesn’t deliver. While a big part of the story is a detective chasing a killer, he doesn’t do any real detective work. This hopes that by telling us he’s a detective and showing us how unkempt he lives that will suffice. It doesn’t. There are quite a few movies with similarities, and nearly all of them do a better job of engaging you with the subject. The strange aspects to the case just feel perfunctory, like some kind of ruse.
This opens in 2024, just fiver years into the future where it looks like an apocalypse has occurred. That’s just a teaser before we jump back to 1988. Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) is a young, eager cop with his partner Maddox (Bokeem Woodbine). They stumble upon a case with numerous mysterious deaths and no link between the victims.
|Bokeem Woodbine, Boyd Holbrook play Maddox, Lockhart|
It’s this unsolved case that haunts Lockhart throughout this movie. We check in on him every nine years as he thinks new links to the original case appear. Each time Lockhart looks like more of a mess, unkempt and unhinged. The movie wants us to think his life is falling apart because of this case, but he seems to only work on it every nine years. There’s nothing here to make me thing he’s obsessed. If he were, he would have connected some dots in a couple of years instead of a couple of decades. The detective side of this is weak. We need to see Lockhart more often than every nine years. That or the case need to progress more frequently
The reason Lockhart can’t solve the case is due to a preternatural element that is also the reason for this case evolving every nine years and not more often. The logic seems a bit flimsy. This movie needs to have more fun with the concept. This throws in physicist who is completely unnecessary to the plot. This movie wants to explain everything when it doesn’t need to. This provides answers we don’t really need and then just keeps explaining.
|Boyd Holbrook plays Lockhart|
Seven does a great job of making two detectives seem real. It’s a disservice to both movies to mention them together. I wish this movie could manage half of Seven’s effect. Lockhart is an undeveloped idea.
The subjects seem to have no relation, and no reason to be killed. Unfortunately there’s no reason for us to care on that front. This needed to plant some seeds of a fringe group much earlier so we know the reason they’re getting killed or at least it will lead us to speculate. From there this could build a case around that. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen. The driving force of the plot is too weak to carry the movie.
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