Throughout this article we’re going to be going over the newly released Netflix film: In The Shadow Of The Moon.
The movie has a pretty mind-bending plot to it that’s full of timey whimey wibbly wobbly stuff, so if the close of the film left you scratching your head then don’t worry because we’re going to be breaking down everything about it that you need to know about it.
Throughout this, I’ll be going over how the time travel in the film works as well as how the effects of it leave our characters in the final few scenes.
There will be heavy spoilers here, so if you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into our breakdown of In The Shadow Of The Moon.
In The Shadow Of The Moon Plot Recap
Ok so In The Shadow Of The Moon opens on a devastating attack on an American City in the year 2024. We learn through the events of the film that an extremist committed these bombings due to hate and external influences that shaped the attacker into having a certain mindstate. The ‘Real America Movement’ is a clear comment on the current extreme acts of violence that we see going on throughout the Western World against other races and people of certain faiths. Whilst I would normally ding a Netflix movie for trying to be too woke for it’s own good, I think In The Shadow Of The Moon has a rather more hopeful ending and doesn’t necessarily put the blame on one thing but rather a multitude of them making it seem less heavy-handed in it’s overall message.
It says that both sides are to blame pretty much and that the constant bickering between the two has almost lead to a civil war.
Anyway in order to fully understand the film, you need to come to grips with the fact that the time-traveling character in the movie, named Rya, is going back through time starting at 2015 then 2006, 1997 and lastly 1988, eliminating people who may have influenced the attacker throughout their life. This includes a multitude of people such as teachers, musicians, bus drivers, parents, friends and so on.
The theory behind this is that if Rya is able to remove all of the forces that basically shaped the terrorist into the way that they turned out, the attack that opens the movie will not happen.
In The Shadow Of The Moon’s Time Travel
It’s a really brilliant concept and In The Shadow Of The Moon pulls it off really well by letting you experience things from the perspective of Thomas Lockhart, played by Boyd Holbrook who we first meet in 1988. Lockhart is investigating the attacks carried out by Rya and he seemingly kills hers, thus ending the spree.
There’s something strange about her though and she seems to know intimate details about the character and events that haven’t happened yet such as his daughter being born and his wife and partner’s death. Flash forward nine years later and Rya appears once more, carrying out another number of murders.
She’s initially thought to be a copycat but Lockhart quickly discovers that this is indeed the person that he met in 1988 and by the time we role around to 2006, which is when a younger version of Rya appears, the character is completely obsessed with her. This comes at the expense of the relationship with his daughter and for Lockhart, stopping Rya means also going back and erasing the timeline that he is currently stuck in which has made the relationship with his child completely frayed.
Now one of the biggest takeaways from the film, at least in my opinion, is that Lockhart never actually needed to stop Rya in order to have a relationship with his daughter, he just became so obsessed with her that he was unable to see anything outside of it and thus he suffers for a number of decades before coming to the conclusion of the whole film.
After tracking Rya to where her time machine appears and disappears, Lockhart is able to know the exact location that Rya will be in in the future. As Rya is only capable of traveling between spaces of nine years, he is able to wait almost a decade for her to emerge and he confronts a younger version of her just before her mission starts.
Now, this is where the big reveal of the film comes and we discover that Rya is actually Lockharts granddaughter and he was the person that pretty much shaped her to become a time traveler. In the future when she was growing up he was aware of what would happen to her but knew that if she went back she would be successful in her mission of terminating, excuse the pun, all the targets and thus he pretty much molds her into doing it.
Similar to those who shaped the terrorist, Lockhart has shaped humanities savior and thus he allows Rya to continue on her mission, knowing full well that he will murder a version of her in 1988 on her final mission.
In The Shadow Of The Moon: Ending Explained
Now, the biggest question I’ve seen floating around about the end of the film is ‘Did Rya Complete Her Mission?’
The answer is yes, now as we see the office block explosion from the beginning of the film that we know lead to 11,000 deaths slowly reversing and the flag disappearing, it’s a safe bet to assume that Rya did indeed complete her goals. Thus the bombings never happened and an alternate timeline is created leaving this version of Rya, as she refers to herself as, an Echo.
Disaster averted, everyone can go on to live a happy life, including Lockhart who is now fully aware that due to his obsession he has shattered the relationship with his daughter and that he has to be there for her and his child. This allows him to raise Rya the way that he should have in the original timeline and almost make amends for his failings as a father.
Going forward there will be no need for this version of Rya to sacrifice herself and now Lockhart, his daughter, and his granddaughter can go on to forge a relationship together.
In The Shadow Of The Moon Review
It makes for an awesome ending and the film as a whole is great. I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish and whilst some plot beats are predictable if you’ve ever seen a time travel film before, the movie is great at setting rules, sticking to them whilst also telling the rise and fall of a man that has let his obsession become the better of him.
Overall it makes for a great film and though it doesn’t completely knock it out of the park there is still a lot of things that make this engaging.
It doesn’t do the usual Netflix move of completely battering you over the head with the message behind it which I massively appreciate as often these kind of films can get bogged down completely with political subtext whereas this seems to avoid it well enough to make the storyline enjoyable.
I actually think In The Shadow Of The Moon is the one to watch this weekend and it’s a great little watch if you’ve got some TIME….TO KILL….cos the movie is about people traveling through time and kk…….nevermind.
That’s why it gets an…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on In The Shadow Of The Moon and if you enjoyed it then make sure you let me know in the comments section below!