Film Review: Effective ‘Europa Report’ Mixes Science with Fiction

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CHICAGO – Unlike a lot of so-called science fiction (“Sharknado” comes to mind), “Europa Report” actually relies heavily on true science. There really is a school of thought, as explained by the great Neil Degrasse Tyson in archival footage used in the film, that the icy surface of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, may hold the most remarkable discovery in the history of mankind – that we are not alone. Where there’s ice and heat signatures, there could be life. It’s a great starting point for “Europa Report,” an effective piece of work about the sacrifice scientists and astronauts are willing to make for the most important way we can evolve – with knowledge.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Here’s the warning. “Europa Report” is a found footage film. I know. Ugh. Another one of those. Didn’t we go this route with the abysmal “Apollo 18”? Trust me. Director Sebastian Cordero gets very creative in the way he uses cameras placed all around the spaceship Europa One and intercuts what they capture with interview footage from a fictional documentary about what they discover on the edge of space.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Europa Report” in our reviews section.

I’m more exhausted by the found footage genre than most people but I found it effective here in the way it enhances the claustrophobia of a small vessel on the precipice of history. We are not just with these people in the Europa One but the story often unfolds in footage captured from within the visor of their spacesuits, getting us close to their eyes as they see our understanding of the universe about to change. It’s one of those rare occasions, like “Chronicle,” in which the found footage aspect enhances the story instead of just feeling like a gimmick.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Europa Report” review.

“Europa Report” stars Sharlto Copley, Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra, and Dan Fogler. It was written by Philip Gelatt and directed by Sebastian Cordero. It is now available On Demand and opens in some markets on August 2, 2013.

Europa Report
Europa Report
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

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