(directed by Sebastián Cordero, 2013)
**** (out of 5)
> Yeah baby! Check it out: smart, savvy sci-fi that goes heavy on the sci(ence) and consciously avoids the fantastical elements that so often muddy good science fiction- and I do love that rare animal: really good science fiction.
. Sci-fi is expensive to do well, so it’s not often done- but with emerging technologies the prospects may be brightening. (MOON and GRAVITY and PROMETHEUS were all nifty sci-fi!) EUROPA REPORT is a low-budget outing, but cleverly, it doesn’t show. The “report” in question is the framework of the film. A spokeswoman gives a video accounting of the ultimate fate of a manned crew on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, in search of life they have every reason to suspect may exist below the ice. Do they find what they’re looking for?
. Not gonna tell!
. But I’ll tell you the viewer gets their money’s worth, in a compelling film that is always fascinating to watch, engaging both the head and the heart. (Doesn’t hurt that I fell in love with the handsome Romanian actress Anamaria Marinca, who I recognized from the somber abortion drama 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND TWO DAYS. Anamaria’s humanity was evident in every frame, and she is a babe.) The effects here serve the story. They are tasteful, realistic and mostly restrained. But things get visceral when they need to be. And when things get hot in EUROPA REPORT they get very, very hot.
. Man I liked this one! If you like the genre, seek it out.
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