Film Review: Europa Report

A new indie film called Europa Report was released on August 2nd. Like Monsters (see my review) in 2010, this low-budget effort was released to a limited theatrical distribution and simultaneously made available on iTunes and other on-demand platforms. I discovered the buzz about the film online and decided to check it out yesterday, so I rented it from iTunes for $6.99.

Europa Report

The film describes a private space mission to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, and the place in our solar system besides Earth believed most likely to harbor life by scientists. Europa is covered by ice, but tidal flexing and the warmth of the moon’s core are believed to have created a vast ocean of liquid water underneath the ice — warmth and liquid water are considered to be the necessary conditions for life to develop.

The mission is stunningly realistic, from the underlying science to the technologies used during the mission. The crew members even sound like astronauts. The film makers consulted extensively with NASA and other companies involved in space to ensure as much accuracy as possible, a goal that they certainly achieved.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

But was the film any good?

Yes, I enjoyed it quite a bit. However, the way that the film was shot will appeal to some people, and not others. The film is told out of order, and ostensibly assembled using “found footage” — the footage being all of the stationary cameras available throughout the ship, as well as the camera inside the spacesuits that focuses on the face of crew members. It’s an interesting conceit, and it mostly works, although it makes the film seem a little disjointed at times.

The acting was reasonably good, although we don’t get deep into the characters of any of the crew members. Still, the performances are solid, if not inspired, and serve to carry the story forward well enough. I liked the fact that the crew never gives up, no matter what happens. To me, that seems true to the spirit of the type of explorer that would go on a mission like this.

The film was directed by Sebasti├ín Cordero. The only well known actors in the film are Sharlto Copley (from District 9) and Michael Nyqvist (from the original version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, i.e. — the one that I liked, as opposed to the cold, passionless American version).

It’s an excellent indie SF film. Recommended for SF fans, space fans and anybody that’s willing to watch a film that, despite some flaws, succeeds admirably at what it tries to accomplish. It’s a smart, scientifically accurate and riveting depiction of a futuristic space mission.

Europa Rocket Launch
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1 Comment

  1. Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    I liked it. Decent film with a low budget and not a ton in the way of special effects. More realistic that hollywood.

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