Movie Monday: Europa Report

Europa Report follows an international group of astronauts on a privately funded mission to discover life on Jupiter’s fourth moon, Europa.  In 2011, NASA discovered there was a body of liquid water underneath the icy surface of Europa.  The movie takes advantage of that idea and uses it as a backdrop to their mission.  On the way, the ship loses communication with earth, but the crew makes the decision to continue their mission, where they discover more than they thought they would.

Overall, I liked the movie.  It unfolds in a non-linear manner with ‘recovered footage’ from the craft interspersed with interviews with the CEO of Europa Ventures and others planetside.  Footage from the ship includes a clock that tells how many months the crew has been in space, and helps to place the various bits in order.  I felt the first half of the movie was stronger than the last bit.  Once they got to the planet, there were a lot of shots of people watching computers or extreme close-ups of people’s faces, which dragged it down.  One thing I really like was that the crew made smart decisions.  Even though their decisions didn’t work out, no one was trying to “be a hero” by making a choice that was obviously detrimental to both the mission and people aboard (this was one of my problems with Sunshine; so much disaster could have been avoided).

The cast is really solid.  They were all very believable as scientists and astronauts stuck in a ship for days at a time.  The stand-out performance was Sharlto Copley.  He’s the reason I got the movie in the first place, and he was phenomenal.  If anything, I would recommend seeing this for his performance alone (same with Elysium.  Hell, same with anything; the man is an amazing actor.)   I also really liked Anamaria Marinca.

I’d give this movie 7 out of 10 stars.  I probably won’t watch it again, and then end was a little bit of a let down, but overall I enjoyed it.



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