Jacob Zembower - wrote on 07/05/13
Europa Report is a film that has left me completely divided. On a technical level it's a masterpiece. The editing is brilliant, with multiple shots filling the screen at times, inter-cut with talking heads, and a live 'breaking news' style press conference of the Europa mission. What's really great, though, are the awesome visual effects which are nearly photo realistic at times. You really do feel the isolation of space, and the surrounding planets and planet surfaces, as well as the Europa shuttle, are all authentically realized on such a small budget. So when it comes to strictly film making terms, Europa Report is something of a fascinating exercise. Unfortunately, the actual story being told doesn't hold up. Not much really takes place, and the initial intrigue soon begins to fizzle out as one realizes that there is nothing about these characters that are very interesting or even distinguishable from one another. There's just no character development at all, save for one character which makes his/her outcome all the more obvious. Then there are teases that maybe something will begin happening when signs of potential extra terrestrial life are brought into the picture, but nothing is ever done with it. We know it's there, but it never adds any tension because it seemingly poses no threat. Sure, the characters see glimpses of it, but everything that happens to them is by their own doing and not by some other life form. So here we have a wasted opportunity that deserved a bigger budget, a better script, and longer run time to give the audience something to actually invest their interest in. Sadly, though, Europa Report is ultimately as fascinating as it is frustratingly dull. Making for one of the most disappointing films of the year. Still, kudos to the visual effects and editing team.