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Review: James Franco, Rashida Jones support the moody ‘Don’t Come Back From the Moon’

Emotionally, though, “Don’t Come Back,” which Cheung wrote with Bakopoulos, isn’t as sticky as you’d like it to be, since Cheung’s method is to vibe everything with tone-poem editing, moody emo/synth music (courtesy of Johnny Jewel) and cinematographer Chananun Chotrungroj’s tactile, restless visuals roaming the desert’s beauty and its inhabitants’ restiveness. It’s an atmosphere piece first and foremost, and an effective one. But the characters, particularly the teens, feel primarily like micro-vignette archetypes of scattershot resonance rather than flesh-and-blood figures forming a tapestry in a taut tale. Too often narration becomes a coloring crutch to explain what should be obvious (“With all the men gone, boys became men”) from a given performance or scene.