Review: Europa Report (2013, Sebastian Cordero)

Humankind goes on a mission to explore Jupiter moon "Europa". What will we find? And how will we get back home?

Science-fiction documentary/found-footage style movie "Europa Report" is a comparably small production, but it opens an entire book of philosophy. It kind of works as a pure thriller, albeit maybe a slightly sober one. But especially if you're the thinking kind of viewer, this movie will keep you occupied for a long time.

In an extended news report, we follow our fictional crew on their journey to moon "Europa". Various challenges and problems lead to setbacks, and tragedy. Still, the team persists. The movie is an exercise in exposing existential questions of humankind. The on-screen action is limited (to some degree probably by the budget), but it's motivated and held together by the writing, and cool, serious, atmospheric mise-en-scene. This perfectly fits the setting, it adds to the survival-suspense, our crew is made of serious scientists. The characters feel a little two-dimensional here and there, and there's the occasional move that feels forced, but, in a sense, that just emphasizes what the movie is all about. It's an exciting space thriller, but "Europa Report" has much bigger ideas.

At some point it just hits you, either while you're watching it, or after. Questions. Many questions. Who are these people? Why does someone choose to go an such a journey? Is that an accurate depiction of how a person behaves under such circumstances? Is that a scientist's mindset? Does science justify such a mission? What place, and purpose, does science have in humankind? What place has one life in evolution? Are we alone? The list goes on. This film is genuinely profound. It creates a string of situations that are thrilling, sometimes scary and sad, to watch, but at the same time point to fundamental, universal questions of life and humanity. Which means: to us, the viewers.

"Europa Report" is fascinating, captivating, and highly thought-provoking. What it lacks in budget, it easily makes up for in clever premise, epic implications, and coherent execution. This is one of the films after watching which you're going to want to have someone to talk with.

Verdict: Clear, existential, moving. Outstanding sci-fi. 9/10



Trailer video:


 * * *

Want to read another movie review? Click here to see all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment