I always seem to be lumped with the found-footage review films. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment, or it’s my curse? Nevertheless I almost passed up the chance to look at Europa Report because of this fact. That was, until, I realised it was a science fiction found-footage film.
As I said, Europa Report is a science fiction film. It centres on Europa One: a six-man (and woman) mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to find potential sources of life. During the months-long mission things start to go wrong. One by one the crew is killed off, but not for any generic alien-on-board reasons or the like. Things just go wrong. Our protagonists eventually land on Europa, but things don’t get any better and they’re greeted with more than they bargained for. The movie reminds me slightly of the ill-fated TV show, Defying Gravity.
The film works. It does. Well, it’s not without its faults. I have two primary grievances with the film. Firstly – and I know I’ve spoken about this before (Devil’s Pass) – the film hasn’t been cut well. Europa Report jumps between current and future events in order to tell the story. This mostly happens during the beginning of the film. I understand what the director (Sebastián Cordero) is trying to do, but it doesn’t add any real tension. It ends up giving the movie an incoherent feeling.
My second grievance is the film’s slow pace. It takes more than thirty minutes to get going. The moment I begin to lose interest in a film I’ll wiki random articles on my phone – this happened early on in the movie.
There isn’t all doom and glow with Europa Report. The films second half came as quite a surprised, and it is a diamond in the rough. The character – while all clichés – at least bring some humanity to the crew and show real emotions. I do wish a bit more time was spend on the script and special effects.
Europa Report is worth a Friday night rent, but make sure you have plenty of popcorn and drink to get through the first bit. I like the changes this science fiction film brings to the found-footage genre.