Europa Report

"Excellent"

Europa Report Review


A bracingly original approach to both science-fiction and the found-footage genres makes this eerily realistic thriller well worth a look. Director Cordero may indulge in a variety of gimmicky and manipulative tricks, but he keeps everything grounded, as it were, and his expert cast makes sure that we are drawn into the story as it progresses. Which makes the conclusion startlingly intense.

After six months in space, the feed from the Europa One mission suddenly went blank, leaving Earth to wonder what was happening in humanity's first deep-space voyage. Unknown to the mission commander (Davidtz) in Houston, the six-person crew has continued on course to Jupiter's moon Europa, where they plan to explore whether there are conditions that could support life. When they arrive, their landing doesn't go quite as planned, and their experiments reveal things they couldn't possibly have expected. They also finally get a chance to send their video footage back to mission control.

What we're watching is an assembly of this footage, taken both inside and outside the ship as they travel, intercut with the commander's comments. Cordero directs all of this exactly like scenes we've seen from Space Shuttle missions, so it looks all too real, complete with a crew of complex experts. Marinca is terrific as the soulful pilot, with the charismatic Camargo and the curious Wydra as scientists, and the cheeky Copely and the intriguingly shaded Nyqvist as mechanics. This cast of acclaimed actors really raises the bar, adding layers of interest without ever seeming to act at all.

The film's only misstep is to try to stir up suspense by shuffling the narrative: the script withholds a key event surrounding the loss of transmission signal, then flashes back to this much later. But jumbling the timeline has the opposite effect, undermining our ability to emotionally connect with the characters. Even so, things get increasingly urgent as the mission continues. By the time we get to the final scenes, we are glued to our seats. And the film's clever no-frills style makes it far more effective than any effects-heavy blockbuster.



Europa Report

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 27th June 2013

Box Office USA: $0.1M

Budget: $125.7 thousand

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Wayfare Entertainment, Misher Films, Start Motion Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 59 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sebastian Cordero

Producer: Ben Browning

Starring: as James Corrigan, as William Xu, as Andrei Blok, as Dr. Daniel Luxembourg, as Dr. Katya Petrovna, as Rosa Dasque, as Dr. Samantha Unger

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