Few great originals have come out of Netflix’s production, but their latest original, “In the Shadow of the Moon,” is not one of them.
Netflix original movies are generally wastes of time, like “Bright,” or films that have potential to be good, but falter spectacularly, like “Triple Frontier.” The director of the excellent neo-noir flick “Cold in July” has now worked with Netflix to release “In the Shadow of the Moon.” Considering my love for “Cold in July,” I thought maybe today would be the day where Netflix would release a surprisingly good original film aside from “Roma.” Alas, that is not the case. “In the Shadow of the Moon” has to be one of the most boring films I have seen in a very, very long time.
Starring Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman and Michael C. Hall, “In the Shadow of the Moon” is a time travel flick about Philadelphia police officer Thomas Lockhart. Lockhart, played by Holbrook, is searching after a time traveling serial killer with an interesting killing signature. The premise sounds interesting right? Well, this movie is most definitely a mixed bag, but all boring.
The first knock I have against the film is the inconsistent tone. It starts out so well. The first murders occur and you are introduced to the protagonist, then the rest of the plot is set up, where you meet interesting characters that don’t have much screen time again. I particularly liked Bokeem Woodbine’s performance, but he wasn’t given enough screen time for me to consider him an asset to the movie. As for Holbrook himself, I believe he is a great actor, who was simply given shoddy material to work with. I enjoyed him in “Narcos,” “Logan” and even “The Predator.” He does his best with what he is given, which is basically the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” Pepe Silvia meme- an obsessed Serpico type. You can physically tell when the story skips through time as his hair grows longer and grayer and his mustache grows into something that wouldn’t be out of place at a UFO convention.
Another thing I dislike about this film is all the plot points that are made pointless by the end. There are some genuinely interesting things that occur with the time travel aspect, and they usually end up altogether unexplored.
Overall, “In the Shadow of the Moon” is just another passable Netflix movie. The first portion of the movie was great, but just like “Triple Frontier,” it falls apart at the end. It ended up giving me more opportunities to doze off than it did to have my eyes magnetized to the screen. As a lover of mystery films as well as science fiction, this film just went down a spiral that ultimately left me disappointed more than anything else. It makes you wonder what Netflix, as a distributor, is doing wrong that makes films like these such missed opportunities. It starts to get political but fails to make good use out of it. In all honestly, I have a hard time recommending this movie. I felt like my time was wasted, and you’ll probably feel the same way. It’s two hours of my life I am never getting back.
Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Jackson Woods