TV Review - In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)
Boyd Holbrook (The Predator and Logan) stars as Tommy Lockheart, a police officer in Philadelphia in the year 1988. He has a wife who's pregnant. His brother-in-law is a detective in the Philly police department. Tommy is called to the scene of a crime that his brother-in-law is investigating. Tommy is eager to become a detective too, so he takes note of the details of the crime. Later that night, Tommy follows his brother-in-law to another crime scene that has the same details. Tommy reasons that the separate deaths are by the same person, a serial killer. There was an eyewitness who saw the suspect, so Tommy searches for the serial killer. He learns the serial killer is a young black girl.
The answers to those questions are not only spoilers, but they also represent my chief problems with this movie. It's those answers that Weidman and Tock think are some kind of morally triumphant statement. The way that Mickle directs it is to make those answers feel glorious or justified. However, I don't believe or feel that they are glorious or justified. I feel those answers are actually morally reprehensible. I suppose that it's bold of the filmmakers to make that case and I think that I understand what they were aiming to do. I think they were trying to be topical and relevant, particularly with the concept of white supremacy and white nationalist terrorism, but where the filmmakers go is just wrong-headed.
Otherwise, Mickle does a good job of creating the period details to make us feel like we're in 1988 or 1997. The action sequences are also fairly well done. The signature sequence is a pretty incredible van crash, involving flying pigs. It's gross, scary and pretty thrilling. Unfortunately, the ending undermines those thrilling moments.
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!
This is where the film goes off the rails and is reprehensible. The terrorists are coded as being white nationalists and possible white supremacists. The problem is that the film is advocating something that was disputed in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (2002). That film is about arresting people and putting them into prison for crimes that they haven't committed but were thinking about committing. This film goes even further and says people should be killed for not only thinking about committing crimes but inspiring others to think about committing crimes.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 55 mins.
Available on Netflix.