The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Europa Report | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Europa Report

A team of international astronauts head into unexplored space.

Directed by: Sebastian Cordero
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Dan Fogler

Arguably, the only question harder to answer than, “Why are we here?” is “Are we alone?” As human beings, we have always looked to the skies for the answers, but so far we haven’t come up with anything substantial. Enter ‘Europa Report,' a new sci-fi thriller about the world’s best astronauts on a privately funded, multi-year expedition to one of Jupiter’s moon's, named Europa. Their mission is to determine if the moon's odd radiation signature is right for creating life on the moon.
The film is presented in a sort of "found footage" style as the astronauts are finally arriving to the moon's orbit. Then, not unlike 'Sunshine', 'Alien' and 'Event Horizon', things quickly spiral out of control. And as they get closer and closer to finding the truth about the moon, things become worse than anyone could have imagined.
I realize, on the surface, this sounds like the plot of dozens of films that have come before, but 'Europa' stands out in the details. The cast is great at making you understand the characters, like what drives and motivates them, and because of this, the characters are fully realized people that I found myself rooting for.
The film's biggest asset is by far the special effects. I’m not sure on the budget, but everything was above what I expected with any big budget sci-fi that is released any random year. It shocks me year after year how many films become almost unwatchable because the effects just take me out of the film, but there are no such problems here.
The only down side to the film is its pacing of the first half when it cuts back and forth between those on the ship and those back on earth explaining what happened. I’m not sure how they could have done it much better, but I found it a bit confusing, and for a bit I almost lost interest in the film. Once they arrived at Europa I had no complaints at all because it then became a greatly effective thriller.
I went into ‘Europa Report’ knowing absolutely nothing about it except that Sharlto Copley, one of my new favorite actors, was in it. With a slightly confusing and slow start, the film ends up becoming something with heart, character and thrills that really make you wonder if we actually are alone in the universe. I’m so glad I decided to check it out.

Andy Comer