November 28, 1994 12:00 PM

Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen

Danson walks with a limp, howls at the moon and croons Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” with considerable panache. He seems to be having fun, which is more than can be said for anyone sitting through this road picture that goes nowhere, slowly.

Set in 1969 during Apollo 11’s mission to the moon, Pontiac stars Danson as a science teacher who, accompanied by his 11-year-old son (Ryan Todd), drives his ’49 Pontiac toward Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. He plans on reaching it just as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon. Left behind—at least initially—is his agoraphobic, housebound wife (Steenburgen) and the Big Secret they share. (Hint: It involves her agoraphobia and his limp.)

Moon’s loopy characters never come across as anything more than half-baked conceits of an overly precious screenplay. The movie is full of windy speeches and self-consciously colorful scenes that can’t disguise how little is really going on. (PG-13)

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