Europa Report movie poster
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Europa Report
Europa Report movie poster

Europa Report Movie Review

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The week I wrote this review, I watched an extremely good movie about space exploration. It was so good, I watched it twice. I also watched Europa Report, which is in no way that movie. Dull and cheap-looking, the best thing Europa Report has going for it is consistency. Unfortunately, it is consistently uninteresting.

Europa Report stars some people you may recognize and some people you won't as astronauts who are on an ill-fated journey to one of Jupiter's moons to investigate the existence of water - and possible life. Everything that actually happens is so shrugworthy that having watched the movie only two days ago, I don't remember a damn thing.

It's hard to slam a movie for looking cheap, especially when the film was never intended to be a big-budget blockbuster, but Europa Report either doesn't make the most of its low budget or was overambitious in the first place. A movie about a mission to another planet has to be a bit awe-inspiring, but the visuals and set pieces are so pedestrian it fails at every turn.

More importantly, I just don't know what the point of Europa Report is. Is it supposed to be a thriller? A character study about people trapped in a no-win scenario? Something else? It isn't suspenseful, so as a thriller it fails. None of the characters are even remotely engaging, so it can't be a character study. Something else?

A bad movie?

The film's final minute - a scene that screenwriter Philip Gelatt probably envisioned would be a "wow" moment - falls completely flat. It's actually rather embarrassing.

Europa Report just doesn't have anything going for it. Thankfully I watched another movie about space exploration the same week - Gravity - which helped make up for this waste of two hours.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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