After a few months of waiting I finally got the chance to check out Europa Report, an indie science fiction flick that really peaked my interest. Shot found footage-style, it still looks good enough with a substantial amount of budget going to special effects. If you watch documentaries, especially about space you will be at familiar ground, because the movie is montaged very carefully to give off that vibe. Still, when it comes to this sub-genre, it gets a bit boring to watch those long and empty shots sometimes, even to a hard-core sci-fi fan as myself. The cast is relatively unknown, although there’s that guy from District 9, Sharlto Copley to give it a bit of street cred. They actually did a good job, since I had that documentary vibe throughout the movie.

Europa Report PosterEver since humans landed on a moon, a question appeared and just kept increasing the tension around it. Who’s next? The question actually answered itself as tests have shown that underneath all the ice on one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa there’s an ocean of water. Determined to see whether something is alive or was alive down there, a mission comprised of the best astronauts has been launched. After their long and arduous journey to Jupiter, they are finally there. Well, not exactly where they were supposed to be because they landed about a hundred meters from the designated location. Now it’s time to start the tests…

Although there were a tone of clocks and calendars I still couldn’t figure out where are they and what day it is, let alone time. Those scenes on the approach to Saturn, Europa and later, the surface, were incredibly intense, especially due to the great acting and camera angles. We could feel that tension, and when they finally landed… It was like Solaris all over again… I still think that Europa Report would have been a better movie if it was shot using regular storytelling and not this found footage gimmick, but still, in this day and age where science is considered “stupid” and “lame” I have to applaud the makers of the movie for trying, and they get bonus points for Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. At first glance it seems like they were just improvising with the technicalities of space flight, but Europa Report is incredibly accurate and realistic when it comes to details, and that’s the thing that got me.

Director: Sebastián Cordero

Writer:  Philip Gelatt

Cast: Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Anamaria Marinca, Sharlto Copley, Dan Fogler, Daniel Wu

Fun Facts: Hydrazine has been used for decades in spacecraft as thruster propellant and as fuel for auxiliary power units. It is corrosive and extremely toxic.


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