This sic fi thriller sets the stage as a report comprised of video feeds from a shuttle on it’s way to one of the moons of Jupiter. The moon (Europa) supposedly has a surface of ice with what scientists think is water beneath (these are real theories from NASA scientists and more). The thought is if there is water, there is life, hence the discover of new lifeforms outside of our own.
A group of scientists/astronauts embarks on this mission, to travel to Europa and take samples to prove the existence of life on another planet. Things start to go in different directions for them which leads ultimately to a landing for the astronauts and a series of events that draw the movie to an ending which some will debate I’m sure. I don’t want to spoil it here but suffice it to say I liked the ending and found it a satisfying conclusion.
The writing is excellent and seems spot on (admittedly I knew some information about the subject of the Jupiter moon but have no idea of the scientific accuracy behind the details the film uses). The dialog is intelligently written and well delivered by the talent. The pacing of the whole film starts as a slow build with some emotional peaks along the way before the climax. It’s not an action film really, it’s more a drama.
The effects were fantastic, it looked very authentic from the space footage, the interior of the shuttle and the surface of the Jupiter moon.
The look and feel of the film had a strong organic quality behind the realism of the technology. The presentation style is well done but a pretty common vehicle as the movie is told from the POV of digital cameras placed all over the shuttle’s interior and exterior as well as on the crew’s spacesuits. In a way, it felt like the ship was the storyteller.
The actors were all strong. Sharlto Copley was a standout as he brought an instantly likable quality to his engineer character. His character was likable and smart to boot. Michael Nyqvist and Christian Camargo both turn in emotional performances as do Karolina Wydra and Embeth Davidtz.
If you like a more serious and realistic sci fi thriller, I’d recommend taking a look at Europa Report.
reviewed by Sean McKnight