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DVD review: The Europa Report: A clever convergence of Sci-fi and Sci-fact

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The Europa Report

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In the last two years, there has been resurgence within the science fiction genre in film. There are a number of films that have been returning the genre to the forefront of movie making. Looper, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Elysium are just a few of the films that have regained the attention of fans enabling the genre to once again have movie goers wanting to boldly go where no fan has gone before.
The Europa Report is an interesting convergence of science fiction and science fact. It uses a premise that is firmly rooted in reality as a foundation for the film. It’s a documentary style thriller that recounts the courageous deep space voyage of an exploration vessel to one of the moons that surround Jupiter, the moon of Europa. They attempt to answer one of the oldest questions known to man, “Are we alone in the universe?” The movie stars Dan Foggler (Fanboys), Sharto Coopley (Elysium), Anamarie Marinca (Perfect Sense), Michael Nyqvist (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Daniel Wu (The Man With The Iron Fist), and Karolina Wyder (Crazy Stupid Love).
The movie is delivered through a number of segmented fragmented video, interviews with the corporate staff, and real time events of the crew which is all creatively conjoined to help to recount the demise of the mission. The story occurs over the nearly two year time span of the voyage as it toggles between the real time of the film and flashing back to the early days of the mission. The film has two mysteries going on simultaneously. One is what happened to the sixth crew member and the other is what happening real time with the mission is
The main detractors of The Europa Report are the constant fluexation between the two sets of video is frustrating. The movie tries to make it feel as real as possible with the video and the interviews. They succeed in that endeavor but it really hampers the entertainment value. Secondly, it also has an extremely slow start. The movie doesn’t become engaging until after nearly 30 minutes of the movie has elapsed and then it begins to stir minimal chills.
Europa Report is a pretty decent film. It’s much like Apollo 18 that debuted in 2011, however this is far better. The film slow start and tedious delivery of the details of the mysteries are the biggest hindrance to the enjoyment of it. The film creates some great tension but it fails to truly utilize it. It’s has its moments where it drags and the climax was too little satisfaction for one to endure the entire film but it’s not a bad movie. The realism of the movie is its biggest asset. The terrors of the unknowns of space are on full display and make the movie extremely fascinating. As the film goes on, it gets better with each moment leading to the climax. There is one obstacle after another that the crew must overcome. This isn’t Star Trek or Star Wars where there’s a quick fix and then the happy ending. Europa Report shows you why you should be scared to go where no man has boldly gone before. I wouldn’t suggest that you buy it but it’s an interesting watch for fans of sci-fi. Casual fans will not enjoy it as much. Red Box or Netflix this one.

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