There is something about watching a love story in today’s time. You know how the story begins, you know how it is going to progress, and you definitely know how it’s going to end, yet the repetition is never discouraging. Over the course of almost two hours, “Moonshot” tells us how, in a very fantastical setting, two absolute polar opposites slowly fall in love. The year is 2049, and the world is slowly relocating to Mars. Walt is an assistant to a robot barista and dreams of going to Mars. Sophie is a science genius who is waiting for her boyfriend to come back from Mars and start a life with her. How they end up being each other’s people is what the story is about.
‘Moonshot’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Walt has applied to go to Mars about 37 times to follow his dreams, and his application has been rejected every single time. He is completely dejected about this when he meets a girl, Ginny, at a party. She is brilliant and beautiful, and they spend a fantastic night talking to each other about adventures and what they want from their life. At the end of the night, Ginny reveals that she is about to leave for Mars that day. This shocks Walt, but they part, promising to stay in touch, which they do, for about a month, when messages from Ginny start drying up. This makes Walt desperate to save their relationship, and he applies to go to Mars again but is rejected once more. He now needs about a million dollars to buy a ticket if he has to have any hope of making it to the other planet, but there is no way he has that kind of money.
As he is dejectedly reviewing his life, he comes across a girl, Sophie, sitting in his café with tear-stained eyes. He had previously met her at a party where he had accidentally broken her orb, which she used to stay in touch with her boyfriend, Calvin. She was crying in the café because she had come to know that her boyfriend might not be returning to Earth for a few more years.
As Sophie and Walt talk, he encourages her to go to Mars if she can, because why wouldn’t you do that for love? It is during this conversation that he comes to know that she is rich and has a million dollars to be able to buy that ticket. He gets extremely frustrated as he sees her so easily buy that ticket. Later that night, he sees a video message from Ginny explaining to him why she couldn’t contact him for a while and that she had found a cat that had snuck into one of the air ducts on the spaceship. This is the part that gives him the idea for his next plan.
On the day the ship is leaving, he sneaks behind Sophie and, under the garb of apologizing to her, sneaks into the plane. After takeoff, Sophie spots him on the plane and understands what he has done. Scared of being accused of aiding and abetting, she decides to help him by making him stay under the guise of Calvin for the next 35 days till they reach Mars. It is over this course of time that we see them getting to know each other better. Sophie comes to appreciate the spontaneity of Walt, and he recognizes her brilliance and a shared thirst for adventure that she keeps carefully under wraps. They have arrived at a stage where they realize the mutual attraction but have yet to act on it. At this point in the story, when they are very close to Mars, Sophie gets a message from Calvin saying that he is waiting for her.
As she reconsiders her priorities, she tells Walt that she can’t help him anymore as she wants to go back to Calvin. Upon hearing this, Walt tells Sophie that she doesn’t know what she wants and that she is making too much effort for a guy who wouldn’t do the same for her. This prompts Sophie to tell him that he’s not really wanted anywhere, and that’s why he has come so far. They parted on this bitter note. Sophie is received by Calvin and his family, whereas Walt is arrested by the police. He is visited by Ginny, who tells him that she is dating somebody else and how Walt’s true love was Mars anyway. After they part on this note, Walt is taken to meet Leon Kovi, the person behind the whole Mars relocation of Earth. He reveals that he was aware of Walt’s presence on the spaceship from the beginning, and he has, in fact, released a video of his antics, where he was trying to hide from the world, and that has gone viral. He wants to be able to use Walt’s face in exchange for letting him live there, which Walt agrees to.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Moonshot’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Walt And Sophie?
The ending of “Moonshot,” where the leads meet to confess their love, takes its own sweet time. At Sophie’s end, she starts to realize that what Walt had said was true, and she may not really want a future with Calvin. She is reassured by Calvin’s mother that no matter what happens between her son and Sophie, they will always be family. This gives her the courage to break up with him and make a choice to go back to Earth.
On the other hand, Walt is slowly realizing that Mars is not quite the adventure he had thought it would be. It’s the same life, just on a different planet. As he is coming to terms with this, Leon Kovi makes him an offer to send him to Ceres, as his next adventure and informs him that he would not be seeing any of his loved ones for a few years. This makes Walt place a call to Sophie when he comes to know that she is going back to Earth. Realizing what has happened, he follows her and makes it in time to join her on the spaceship. When they meet, Sophie tells him that this is exactly what he did for another girl just over a month ago, which is when Walt tells her how this is different as he completely loves Sophie and is not just following some ideas of adventure. Cue the kiss, that every love story always ends on.
What can we say other than how we definitely enjoyed the movie, but only after the first twenty minutes, because that’s the point where the leads meet, and the story really picks up. We are at a stage with love stories where enjoyability depends on the set-up, and “Moonshot” delivers. The leads have good chemistry, and the characters are likable, despite the cliché elements. There are also moments of the film being a self-aware parody that fit well with the flow of the story. Also, it is quite amusing how Hollywood is going about representation, with an Asian lead, a Black supporting cast, a woman as the pilot whose achievements are belted again and again and finally, a lesbian couple to fill the gap. There is nothing per se wrong with it except the obvious tokenism of it all. We appreciate how they acknowledged Walt’s stalker behavior of going across space for a girl he had just spent a night with.
That being said, “Moonshot” is a classic love story in a really wacky setting with extremely likable protagonists, and we are satisfied. Lana Condor has a really natural presence for rom-coms, but for reasons we cannot say, this movie made us think she could do more. Cole Sprouse was adorable and charmed us, as we knew he would. It’s not a movie to be seen while eating a tub of ice cream, but one that can undoubtedly be watched for some light, feel-good vibes, and we look forward to more such content.
“Moonshot” is a 2022 Romance Drama film directed by Christopher Winterbauer.