Movie Review: Europa Report

Still weightless from your ‘Gravity’ experience? 2013 has another space-based thriller to satisfy you. ‘Europa Report’ is a very good choice if you’re seeking out a companion film experience to ‘Gravity.’

In director Sebastian Cordero’s ‘Europa Report,’ we follow a team of astronauts and their journey to explore one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa.

‘Europa Report’ is more of a genre film than Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’, which continues to dominate the box office. Where ‘Gravity’ is almost minimalist in its story, ‘Europa Report’ is often a more thoughtful and philosophical science-fiction movie.

Are we alone in the universe? To what lengths would a person go for truth? Is that knowledge worth more than an individual life?

Lacking the raw star power of ‘Gravity,’ the lesser-seen ‘Europa Report’ is a very well made and fascinating trip into exploring the “final frontier” as coined by Gene Roddenberry.

‘Europa Report’ is told from the point of view of Dr. Samantha Unger (Embeth Davidtz) through the found footage recovered from the mission to Europa.

Funded by private sources, Europa One is a space ship designed to carry out scientific experiments on Jupiter’s moon. As our international crew travels further out into space than any astronauts before them, the dangerous mission takes on added significance in the face of increasingly difficult odds.

After successfully arriving upon the surface of Europa itself, the ship’s engineer believes that he has seen something moving on the moon’s surface. This is where ‘Europa Report’ switches from interesting adventure into a taut sci-fi thriller.

‘Europa Report’ succeeds with a believable international cast of actors who give solid, understated performances.

Sharlto Copley (Elysium), Michael Nyqvist (Dragon Tattoo Trilogy), and Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) are a few of the “Where do I know that guy from?” casting choices that make ‘Europa Report’ more believable.

One of the downfalls of ‘Gravity’ was having Sandra Bullock as its lead. Bullock is too big  of a “movie star” to truly own that role. Besides, didn’t she do that “no-no-no-no-no!” thing in ‘Speed’ 20 years ago?

The visual effects in ‘Europa Report’ are fantastic. With support from NASA and SpaceX, ‘Europa’ creates a realistic and beautiful style all its own. The cramped realism of the interior of the ship, the sparse grandeur of the coldness of outer space are expertly realized.

‘Europa Report’ is a unique film that incorporates many genre elements yet doesn’t feel like a straight science fiction movie. The pacing is more deliberate than many current films, also. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this may not be your type of flick.

However, if thoughtfully well-made science fiction movies pique your interest then ‘Europa Report’ is well worth watching. Continuously fascinating and entertaining, ‘Europa Report’ makes an excellent movie to watch if ‘Gravity’ got your inner astronaut juices flowing. Flixnerds…it’s a really good movie whether you liked ‘Gravity’ or not.

Flixnerd Recommended.

★★★☆☆  ‘Europa Report’ is a taut Sci-Fi thriller.

 

 

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