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Sci -Fi - Space Travel

Europa Report (2013)

Duration1h 37m
RatingsUK: 12, USA: PG-13, Spain: 7 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorSebastian Cordero
Writers/ScriptPhillip Gelatt
StarringDaniel Wu, Sharlto Copley, Christian Camargo, Karolina Wydra, Michael Nyqvist, Anamaria Marinca, Embeth Davidtz
RatingsIMDb: 6.4/10 by 71,637 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 81% by 80 reviewers. Review2view: 6/10.

Summary: A manned mission to the Jupiter moon Europa has taken place and communication with it has been lost, resulting in a commentary by the mission manager, Samantha Unger. However, she says that a cache of recordings has been received and we are shown them. These make up the story of the mission which makes it to Europa losing one crew member on the way. During an EVA his suit is contaminated with the propellant hydrazine making it impossible for him to re-enter the craft. The space ship gets to Europa and  the lander containing all crew members lands, but the scientist out on the surface of the moon is also lost, while investigating a pulsing blue light. Attempting to return to the mother ship, the lander’s engines fail and it falls to the surface of the moon. What will happen?

Content: No sex, nudity, drinking or smoking. The CEO of the space company narrates. The whole of the film is made up of a collection of camera footage. All the areas within the ship have cameras, there are some external cameras and unusually the helmets of those engaged in EVAs also contain cameras showing their faces. Hence, the whole of the drama as it unfolds takes place using footage from these cameras. We see the space craft and the lander being controlled by the crew and moments when they are collected in their more or less leisure space. While deaths do occur they are not disturbingly presented.

A View: This outing was quite well thought of by the critics, but it has almost certainly lost money. While it was thought of as being quite a realistic presentation of space flight this very realism prevented anything extremely dramatic from happening. That being said, I wondered why a private company would send a mission to Europa, and also why the very limited gravity of the moon had not been recognised. There would be so little gravity that even the limited thrust provided by the engines on take off might well have got the lander into orbit. Really this was a presentation limited by its own criteria. Just not very exciting, but maybe a watch if you like space flight.

Here are a few more movies featuring space flight reviewed on this site: Ad Astra, Interstellar and the template for them all 2001: A Space Odyssey.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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