This Sci Fi concept has a few too many black holes on this Lord of the Flies meets space age West Side Story trip. Colin Farrell leads the way training and nurturing a group of test tube babies who are now young Voyagers. Earth is dying and sending them to another planet to save the human species. They will live their whole life in space on the way to their new home.
Writer/Director Neil Burger (The Upside, Divergent, Limitless), uses little dialogue and some questionable techniques to skip over parts of the story even using time lapse for convenience. That expedites the story without artistry.
Richard (Collin Farrell) is the project manager who is to send these young people out in space. Last minute, he decides to go with because he really cares about them. They’re like family. Farrell is the only one who shows any real emotion.
Christopher (Tye Sheridan – Ready Player One), Sela (Lily-Rose Depp- Crisis) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead-Dunkirk) emerge as the leaders of this pack of young people. When they think they’ve been duped into drinking a blue supplement that keeps them docile and dulls their senses, they take matters into their own hands.
There’s not a lot going on, including character development, in the first 30 minutes of the film. We kept waiting for something to happen. A traumatic event changes the dynamic putting the young people in charge of running the show. Add to that, their refusal to drink “the blue” and their hormones kick in. They end up breaking off into two packs vying for ultimate power and the girl. But even with constant conflict, their characters are still so bland.
The film turns into a horny, deep space, disjointed Lord of the Flies. Christopher and Zac go head to head in a battle be in charge. Each, with their gangs of supporters, are constantly running down florescent lit corridors or hiding behind panels in the walls to get away from each other. Of course, the game of hide and seek doesn’t last and they take turns confronting each other which creates casualties.
In the midst of all this, not taking “the blue” heightens their drives and brings emotion into their lives for the first time. Passions flare along with physical and emotional intimacy. A love story develops develops between Christopher and Sela who have no reference for how to be loving human beings, which shows in one of the blandest sex scenes you’ll ever see. he supposed love scene is neither well- directed, nor acted, and it lays flat.
The set design is slick but boring. It presents a very claustrophobic feel to this film, even though there seem to be plenty of large and small rooms throughout. With all those tech bells and whistles on the ship to play with, Burger might have made just being there more intriguing.
There are basically 3 main characters in this film and the rest of the voyagers get lost, even in the big chase scenes. Colin Farrell’s character is the only one that shows any emotion and he gets lost early on. This becomes a series of scenes that don’t seem to flow or follow well. And most of it, including the climax, is absolutely predictable. With so many black holes in this space trip, think twice before booking a ticket for this voyage.
Lionsgate Films 1 hour and 48 minutes PG-13
In theaters now
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