Directed by SEBASTIAN CORDERO and featuring an international cast portraying our astronauts and the space exploration corporate team (Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Dan Fogler, Anamaria Marinca, Isiah Whitlock JR, Karolina Wydra, Daniel Wu) — Europa Report manages to be both a sci-fi film based on actual science and a nice piece of entertainment. The acting is top-notch, the sets feel very realistic and the scenarios faced by our endangered crew are gripping and dramatic without being over-the-top.
It’s a nice touch to have both the lead pilot (the superb Anamaria Marinca) and the main spokesperson for the Europa Ventures Corporation (Embeth Davidtz, warm and charming) be women. Here we have a science fiction film that features science geeks that aren’t stereotypes wearing white lab coats. Instead, Europa Report gives us actors (or like Neil deGrasse Tyson; actual scientists) expressing feelings and foibles that are easy to relate to and which draw the audience in as we share their passionate pursuit of space exploration!
Sadly, there are many repeated scenes that begin to wear-out suspended disbelief and the big reveal–whether there is life on Jupiter’s third largest moon, is answered in a climax that isn’t worthy of the the all the “science” that the film was earnestly built on. The filmmakers have created characters that clearly believe their lives are nothing in comparison to this great mission but I guess the film can hardly end on a scene of celebration around a petri dish…
Europa Report is a worthy effort. In a summer with a large number of science fiction releases, it’s great to have a few that aren’t tailored to teenagers and I look forward to the upcoming release Gravity.
To get you in the mood for more science fiction, watch The Top 5 Underrated Sci-Fi Movie Masterpieces:
Rating: 3 shots of Russian vodka (with no water back since it’s probably re-constituted human urine!)