Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon

2024, PG-13, 132 min. Directed by Greg Berlanti. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Nick Dillenburg, Anna Garcia, Jim Rash, Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., July 12, 2024

From first inspiration to opening credits, a movie can undergo a shocking amount of transformation. Early drafts get binned. New writers are brought on. Attached stars drop out. One director leaves the project, and another one arrives with an entirely different vision. Through the gauntlet, every Hollywood production must go; the lucky ones that make it all the way to the multiplex bear the creative prints, mostly invisible, of so many cooks in the kitchen.

Which is all to say, Fly Me to the Moon’s own course from script to screen doesn’t seem especially troubled, along the way trading one bankable male star for another and switching one well-regarded director best known for his work in TV, Jason Bateman, for another one, Greg Berlanti. How then to explain the film’s utter tonal confusion, the wibble-wobbling effect it produces – in its marketing leadup and final form, both – and, weirder yet, that it somehow manages to mostly ingratiate itself?

Set in the late Sixties, Fly Me to the Moon zeroes in on NASA at a low ebb. The space program is still reeling from the catastrophic fire that killed the three Apollo 1 astronauts. That tragedy is essential to the story – it informs the conflict and establishes the stakes – but the questionable decision to dramatize it, mid-opening credits and on the heels of some zippy split screens that make the space race seem like a real gas, marks the film’s first record scratch. (The second is a fireball gag mere minutes later.)

Launch Director Cole Davis (Tatum, emoting mostly via pursed lips) is a ball of nerves trying to get Apollo 11 on the moon before the Soviets can plant a flag first, with the added stress of Congress threatening to pull funding and the general public’s waning interest in NASA. Enter advertising wiz Kelly Jones (Johansson, also a producer), hired by Woody Harrelson’s mysterious Nixon operative and brought to NASA’s base in Florida to land lucrative ad deals to bankroll the mission and gin up interest in their literal moonshot. Despite having mostly aligned goals, Cole and Kelly butt heads, because this is what happens in romantic comedies.

But is this a romantic comedy? That’s what the trailers want you to think, and presumably the title change from the original Project Artemis (more on that later) to the plug-and-play Fly Me to the Moon was done for its lovey connotations, too. As a rom-com, it’s a bit of a shrug; Rose Gilroy’s screenplay is chuckling but no more, and the heat Johansson and Tatum generate couldn’t start a campfire, let alone achieve rocket launch. (My condolences to the Cap and Black Widow ‘shippers, who missed out on a more promising pairing when original star Chris Evans had to drop out.)

If not a rom-com, then what? Fly Me to the Moon plays too fast and loose with the facts to be a Hidden Figures-like historical crowd-pleaser, though you’re bound to walk away feeling warmly about NASA. It’s not broad enough for parody, despite some winkingness à la Down With Love (which, by the way, made much better use of the titular song). It doesn’t take itself seriously enough to pitch as a prestige picture, even with all that Apple Original Films money put to terrific use aping the era. It’s smart enough to gesture at current-day concerns – most especially in the dangers of a flexible relationship to truth – but not incisive or insightful enough to land a punch.

Ah, the T-word. Truth. Kelly, who’ll say anything to make a sale, is so comfortable lying I genuinely wondered if she was a psychopath, a thrilling prospect. (Sadly no – when Kelly catches feelings, she catches a conscience, yawn – but Johansson really is a crackling treat in the part.) The film seems to come down firmly on the side of Truth, not Lies, which is pretty hilarious considering it legitimizes an enduring conspiracy theory – that NASA faked the moon landing – and (spoiler here, folks) doubles down by marketing the movie as if it’s all about Kelly’s backup plan to produce moon landing footage in case the real one fails (the so-called Project Artemis), when in fact that subplot isn’t introduced until an hour into the movie. That’s wild, right?!

Or not. Like I said, Fly Me to the Moon doesn’t take itself very seriously, and in the end, neither did I.

Showtimes

Fri., July 12

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:40

Sat., July 13

digital 12:10, 3:25, 6:40, 10:15

Sun., July 14

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:20

Mon., July 15

digital 12:05, 3:40, 7:00, 10:30
digital, OC 9:00

Tue., July 16

digital 11:30am, 3:10, 7:00, 9:00

Wed., July 17

digital 11:30am, 3:20, 7:00, 10:25

Fri., July 12

digital 12:15, 3:35, 7:00, 10:20

Sat., July 13

digital 12:15, 3:35, 7:00, 10:20

Sun., July 14

digital 12:45, 4:05, 7:30

Mon., July 15

digital 12:10, 3:30, 7:00, 10:20

Tue., July 16

digital 12:10, 3:30, 7:00, 10:20

Wed., July 17

digital 11:40am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:50

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Fri., July 12

digital 12:15, 3:40, 7:00, 10:15

Sat., July 13

digital 12:15, 3:40, 7:00, 10:15

Sun., July 14

digital 12:00, 3:40, 7:00, 10:15

Mon., July 15

digital 11:30am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:25

Tue., July 16

digital 11:50am, 3:00, 6:20, 9:35

Wed., July 17

digital 11:50am, 3:00, 6:20, 9:35

AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10

12625 N. I-35, 512/640-1533, www.amctheatres.com

Fri., July 12

CC/DVS, digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Sat., July 13

CC/DVS, digital 12:45, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Sun., July 14

CC/DVS, digital 12:00, 4:15, 7:15, 9:45

Mon., July 15

CC/DVS, digital 1:00, 4:00, 8:45

Tue., July 16

CC/DVS, digital 12:45, 3:45, 7:15

Wed., July 17

CC/DVS, digital 12:30, 3:45, 8:00

Thu., July 18

CC/DVS, digital 12:45, 3:45, 7:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 Capital of Texas Hwy. S., 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Fri., July 12

CC/DVS, digital 12:45, 4:00, 7:15, 10:15

Sat., July 13

CC/DVS, digital 3:45, 7:00, 10:15
digital, OC 12:30

Sun., July 14

CC/DVS, digital 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Mon., July 15

CC/DVS, digital 12:00, 3:00, 9:30
digital, OC 6:15

Tue., July 16

CC/DVS, digital 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:45

Wed., July 17

CC/DVS, digital 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:15

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Fri., July 12

digital 9:05am, 12:20, 3:35, 6:50, 10:05

Sat., July 13

digital 9:05am, 12:20, 3:35, 6:50, 10:05

Sun., July 14

digital 9:05am, 12:20, 3:35, 6:50, 10:05

Mon., July 15

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Tue., July 16

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Wed., July 17

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Fri., July 12

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Sat., July 13

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Sun., July 14

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Mon., July 15

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Tue., July 16

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Wed., July 17

digital 9:20am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Fri., July 12

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Sat., July 13

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Sun., July 14

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Mon., July 15

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Tue., July 16

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Wed., July 17

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Fri., July 12

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Sat., July 13

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Sun., July 14

digital 9:15am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Mon., July 15

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Tue., July 16

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Wed., July 17

digital 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Fri., July 12

digital 9:35am, 9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 4:05, 7:20, 10:35

Sat., July 13

digital 9:35am, 9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 4:05, 7:05, 7:20, 10:35

Sun., July 14

digital 9:35am, 9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 4:05, 7:05, 7:20, 10:35

Mon., July 15

digital 9:35am, 9:50am, 12:50, 3:45, 4:05, 7:05, 7:20, 10:35

Tue., July 16

digital 9:35am, 9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 4:05, 7:10, 7:20, 10:35

Wed., July 17

digital 9:40am, 9:55am, 12:55, 3:50, 4:10, 7:05, 7:25, 10:40

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Fri., July 12

digital 10:20am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45

Sat., July 13

digital 10:20am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45

Sun., July 14

digital 10:20am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45

Mon., July 15

digital 10:20am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45

Tue., July 16

digital 10:20am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45

Wed., July 17

digital 10:10am, 12:30, 3:40, 7:00, 9:50

Fri., July 12

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sat., July 13

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., July 14

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Mon., July 15

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., July 16

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., July 17

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., July 18

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Fri., July 12

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 6:15, 9:30

Sat., July 13

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 6:15, 9:30

Sun., July 14

digital 8:40

Mon., July 15

digital 9:50am

Tue., July 16

digital 7:15

Wed., July 17

digital 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30

Evo Cinemas Belterra

166 Hargraves Ste. A-100, 512/457-0700, www.evocinemas.com/belterra

Fri., July 12

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Sat., July 13

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Sun., July 14

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Mon., July 15

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Tue., July 16

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Wed., July 17

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

Thu., July 18

digital 9:45am, 12:45, 1:00, 4:00, 4:15, 7:10, 7:30, 10:20, 10:45

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Fri., July 12

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30

Sat., July 13

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., July 14

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Mon., July 15

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., July 16

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., July 17

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Film Alley Bastrop

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, bastrop.filmalley.net/

Fri., July 12

digital 12:30, 3:45, 10:25

Sat., July 13

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:30

Sun., July 14

digital 10:35am, 1:50, 4:55

Mon., July 15

digital 10:35am, 1:50, 4:55

Tue., July 16

digital 1:00, 4:15, 7:30

Wed., July 17

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:25

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Fri., July 12

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:15, 9:40

Sat., July 13

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:15, 9:40

Sun., July 14

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:15, 9:40

Mon., July 15

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:15, 9:40

Tue., July 16

digital 9:30am, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30

Wed., July 17

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:15, 9:40

Thu., July 18

digital 11:25am, 2:55

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Fri., July 12

digital 10:30am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Sat., July 13

digital 10:30am, 12:00, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Sun., July 14

digital 10:30am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., July 15

digital 10:30am, 12:50, 7:00, 10:05
digital, OC 3:45

Tue., July 16

digital 10:30am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., July 17

digital 10:30am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Thu., July 18

digital 10:30am, 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Fri., July 12

digital 11:20am, 12:20, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:35, 10:30

Sat., July 13

digital 11:20am, 12:20, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:30, 10:25

Sun., July 14

digital 11:20am, 12:20, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:25, 10:15

Mon., July 15

digital 11:20am, 12:20, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:25, 10:25

Tue., July 16

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:25, 10:25

Wed., July 17

digital 11:30am, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:25, 10:25

Thu., July 18

digital 11:25am, 12:20, 2:45, 3:45, 6:05, 7:05, 9:25, 10:15

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Fri., July 12

11:15am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:00

Sat., July 13

11:30am, 3:00, 6:45, 10:15

Sun., July 14

11:15am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:00

Mon., July 15

11:15am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:00

Tue., July 16

11:15am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:00

Wed., July 17

11:15am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:00

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Fri., July 12

CC/DVS, digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:40

Sat., July 13

CC/DVS, digital 11:15am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:40

Sun., July 14

CC/DVS, digital 11:15am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:40

Mon., July 15

CC/DVS, digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30

Tue., July 16

CC/DVS, digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30

Wed., July 17

CC/DVS, digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Fri., July 12

digital 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:10, 2:45, 4:00, 6:00, 7:15, 9:20, 10:00

Sat., July 13

digital 10:00am, 11:30am, 12:45, 1:15, 4:00, 6:05, 7:15, 9:20, 9:55

Sun., July 14

digital 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00, 1:10, 4:00, 6:35, 7:15, 9:55, 10:10

Mon., July 15

digital 11:00am, 12:50, 2:45, 4:00, 7:15, 8:45, 9:35, 10:10

Tue., July 16

digital 11:00am, 1:10, 2:45, 4:10, 7:20, 8:45, 9:55, 10:10

Wed., July 17

digital 11:00am, 1:10, 2:45, 4:10, 8:45, 9:55, 10:10

Thu., July 18

digital 11:00am, 1:10, 2:50, 6:35, 10:15

Fri., July 12

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:00

Sat., July 13

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:00

Sun., July 14

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:00

Mon., July 15

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:00

Tue., July 16

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 10:00

Wed., July 17

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 7:15, 9:50

Thu., July 18

digital 11:00am, 2:30

Fri., July 12

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Sat., July 13

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Sun., July 14

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Mon., July 15

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., July 16

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Wed., July 17

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 3:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30, 10:00

Thu., July 18

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 4:00

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$6.50 children and senior tickets (all-day), $5 Tuesdays (all tickets), Bargain Matinees before 5pm daily.

Fri., July 12

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Sat., July 13

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Sun., July 14

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Mon., July 15

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Tue., July 16

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Wed., July 17

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00

Thu., July 18

digital 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 9:40

Fri., July 12

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Sat., July 13

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Sun., July 14

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Mon., July 15

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Tue., July 16

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Wed., July 17

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Thu., July 18

digital 10:00am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:35, 11:00

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Fri., July 12

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Sat., July 13

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Sun., July 14

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Mon., July 15

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Tue., July 16

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Wed., July 17

digital 10:45am, 1:25, 4:40, 6:30, 9:30

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Fri., July 12

digital 10:15am, 11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45, 9:15, 10:00

Sat., July 13

digital 10:15am, 11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45, 9:15, 10:00

Sun., July 14

digital 10:15am, 11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45, 9:15, 10:00

Mon., July 15

digital 11:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 3:30, 6:45, 8:45, 10:00

Tue., July 16

digital 11:15am, 12:00, 2:45, 3:30, 6:15, 6:45, 9:30, 10:00

Wed., July 17

digital 11:15am, 12:00, 2:45, 3:30, 6:45, 8:45, 10:00

Thu., July 18

digital 10:45am, 11:30am, 2:15, 2:45, 6:00, 9:45

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Fly Me to the Moon, Greg Berlanti, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Nick Dillenburg, Anna Garcia, Jim Rash, Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson

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