Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The crew of Europa One changed the core context in which all of humanity understands itself. They couldn't have achieved more",, 15 July 2014
This review is from: Europa Report [DVD] [2013] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is a good SF film, one of best amongst those I saw recently. Not exactly a great masterpiece, but certainly a very honest, very intelligent and surprisingly original film. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

IMPORTANT PRECISION: this is the review of the Region 1 NTSC version, and therefore it will not play on Region 2 European equipment. There is also a Region 2 version available, released in Germany, with original soundtrack but it has no English subtitles.

Europa One is the name of the spacecraft which, in a near future, attempts the first manned space mission to another celestial body since the last Moon landing in 1972. Its destination is Jupiter's moon Europa. It carries a crew of six (four men and two women). This is an international mission, coordinated by a joint body called Europa Ventures, funded by USA, EU and Russia - and therefore the crew, if I understood correctly is composed of two Americans, two Europeans and two Russians.

The scheduled time of flight to Europa is 22 months. Once there the crew is supposed to divide, with some of them boarding the lander and some staying in the orbiter. Those who are expected to land are supposed to gather and analyse samples from the surface and then drill through the ice and explore the subglacial ocean with an unmanned robot probe. There are great hopes that life can be discovered in the ocean, because of heat signatures observed under the ice by previous unmanned missions (fictional ones as there were no probes send specifically to Europa in real life). All of this is just the introduction and covers like first five minutes - and about the rest I will say nothing more.

This is a SF film so of course it takes some liberties with reality and in fact we still don't know with certitude if there really is an ocean under Europa's ice crust... But still, this film tries to stick to real science and real reality as much as possible and therefore offers us a very, very pleasant experience for all amateurs of "nuts and bolts" SF. I must admit that I always liked this sub-genre, ever since I started to read SF as a kid in the 70s - and in the veritable deluge of super-hero film, horrors, space opera, alien invasions, time travels, alternate reality, post-apocalyptics, etc, etc. (which by the way I enjoy a lot too) this category of films seemed to disappear a little. It was therefore with great pleasure that I discovered recently two very good "nuts and bolts" SF films - the grandiose, spectacular "Gravity" and then this film, less flamboyant but nevertheless excellent.

It is fair to warn here that this is a slow film, which accelerates only towards the end - but still, I wasn't bored even for one minute. The story is also no-linear, so I would advise to watch it integrally because you may miss important bits, even in slower parts - if you want to leave the room to get more beer or popcorn, my sincere advice is to pause the film...

With the exception of Christian Camargo ("Dexter", "Twilight") actors who played crew members were unknown to me, but they did really an excellent job. It is worth to mention them here:

- Daniel Wu plays William Xu, an American who is the captain of the mission (after all this is an American film)
- Anamaria Marinca plays Rosa Dasque, the pilot of the ship (she is European and may or may not be French)
- Christian Camargo plays Daniel Luxembourg, chief science officer (another European who may or may not be French)
- Michael Nyqvist plays Andrei Blok, chief engineer, a Russian veteran who is also the oldest crew member
- Karolina Wydra plays Katya Petrovna, a Russian science officer (marine biologist)
- Sharlto Copley plays James Corrigan, an American who is the junior engineer

The story is also partly narrated by people from Europa Ventures who remained on Earth - amongst them one is played by Isiah Whitlock Jr., who made such a lasting impression as State Senator Clay Davis in "The Wire"...))) Another one is played by Dan Fogler ("Fanboys", Good luck Chuck"), who for once looks like a human being, wears some nice clothes and speaks without using obscenities in every sentence...)))

This film, albeit slow, builds up quite a tension from the beginning and as we learn to know better the crew members a heavy sense of foreboding develops. The great finale and the ending are very strong, unexpected and surprisingly moving.

"Europa Report" being in large part about ice crust covered with cracks and craters you can expect some plot holes - and of course there are some, but they don't really harm this film.

Bottom line, I found this film a very, very successful thing and I enjoyed watching it A LOT! A really, good, solid, classical "nuts and bolts" SF movie. ENJOY!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2014 10:06:08 BDT
Cartimand says:
I have the German Blu-ray and you can select English language from the opening menu.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2014 10:16:50 BDT
Darth Maciek says:
Thanks for that information. Does it have English subtitles?
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