Film follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter's moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa's icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discoveries that may lie in the Europan ocean. After a near-catastrophic technical failure that leads to loss of communication with Earth and the tragic death of a crewmember, the surviving astronauts must overcome the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel, and survive a discovery on Europa more profound than they had ever imagined.
A team of astronauts travel across the galaxy in search of life on another planet but all they find is a trial of destruction as they find themselves fighting for their survival on a completely unknown world they do not understand, by an enemy they do not understand. Sound familiar? Films like Alien, Sunshine and Apollo 13 have used space and the prospect of alien life to build tension in confined spaces. Eruopa Report understands this and concentrates on something else entirely; the desire to know and see more.
The film follows the team of the Europa One, a craft heading to a distant moon of Jupiter called Europa where scientists have discovered signs of life underneath the ice. Along the way their communications are destroyed and they are left without communication with Earth on a mission with years left to go.
The film is really about the isolation of space travel as this crew try to handle not knowing what is happening back home as they hurtle towards their destination. The film does take advantage of famous horror motifs but the film spends much more time exploring the confines of the ship, the new discoveries on Europa before things start to take a horrific turn.
Filled with a cast who understand the incredible sense of adventure and excitement this kind of journey brings, from Sharlto Copley as a devoted family man to Michael Nyqvist as a guilt ridden engineer. The film handles the many rigours of space travel in a way that questions humanities role in the universe. As everything begins to start falling apart, that question only seems more relevant as these characters scramble to adjust to their new situation, one of consuming loneliness and contemplation.
While posing many interesting ideas and thoughts, Europa Report feels like a long film as the film wants the viewer to ponder their existence through the many twists of the film making for a rather slow experience. Some many find the analysis of our place among the stars interesting but thanks to the pace it gave me time to think about other things as well, effectively detaching me from the main draw of the film as it unfortunately sapped all the fun from a clever but much too slow tale of self discovery
You rated this film: 2
Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Classification is to be confirmed by the British Board of Film Classification