Europa Report [2013] Movie Review Recommendation Poster

Europa Report [2013]

After a few months of waiting, I finally got the chance to check out Europa Report, an indie science fiction flick that really piqued 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 edited 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 2013 Poster

Ever 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 was 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 without this found-footage gimmick. But still, in this climate where science is considered “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. However, Europa Report is actually incredibly accurate and realistic when it comes to details. And that’s the thing that got me.

While we’re talking about realistic and so-called “hard science fiction movies” I have to mention Sunshine. It’s just so good and juicy that it will make you watch it over and over again. And if you’re looking to make a marathon check out Moon, Life and finally Event Horizon. Enjoy. 

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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