“Europa Report” is an ambitious film shot in the style of both a NASA documentary and a live-action science fiction outer space thriller. The tagline for the film “Fear – Sacrifice – Contact” is all that and more.
Directed by Sebastian Cordero, best known for his intense thriller “Cronicas” (Chronicles), one might think that “Europa Report” could have been a bit of a stretch for the young helmer from Ecuador but he does a marvelous job stepping into the role of top dog for the big budget, big special effects movie.
This sci-fi adventure takes an indepth look at an international crew of human astronauts embarking on humanity’s first long distance 20 month flight to Jupiter and all that could entail in a real life mission with the target being the gas giant’s fourth largest moon and best hope for finding life within our solar system outside of Earth, the ice moon Europa.
While the crew is international so are the stars of the film. Renowned Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Zero Hour) is the chief Russian engineer, South African actress Embeth Davidtz stars as the pilot of the lunar lander and the Captain of the mission is played by American-Chinese actor Daniel Wu (The Legend of the Black Scorpion). The rest of the cast is rounded out with Sharlto Copley who made a big splash in the world of sci-fi with “District 9,” Christian Camargo (The Hurt Locker), and Karolina Wydra (After). Back on Earth at Mission Control are project leader Anamaria Marcinca, Isaiah Whitlock Jr., and from “Fanboys,” Dan Fogler.
The best thing about this film is the realism, the believable technology that doesn’t go too far astray from what is available today at NASA and the ESA. I agree with the pitch-line for this film which states that it is the most realist space film since “2001 A Space Odyssey” yet it takes it one step further with the introduction of the possibility of life existing outside Earth and that this life, while not “Alien-esque” could easily be formidable, scary, intelligent on a Cambrian level and something human beings have never had to face before.
If you like good, straight-up SCIENCE-fiction then I highly recommend this movie. If you’re looking for an Alien-Predator scare-fest don’t bother; this one is smart sci-fi well within the realm of “oh yeah, I can see that happening one day.”