Review: Europa Report (2013)

Mountain Monkey August 15, 2013 Reviews No Comments on Review: Europa Report (2013)

Review by: Mountain Monkey
SCUM Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

The crew of Europa One prepares to land on Europa

The crew of Europa One prepares to land on Europa

If you’re looking for a break from the usual 200-million dollar, thrill-a-minute ‘product’ being unleashed by Hollywood this summer (or any other summer), look no further than indie sci-fi flick, Europa Report.

Produced with a comparatively paltry budget of less than 10 million dollars, Europa Report was filmed entirely in a Brooklyn warehouse in 2011. The limited space for filming is evident in the movie, as most of the drama happens within the confines of a space module hurtling towards Europa, which is an ice-covered moon orbiting Jupiter. Almost everything else on-screen is filled in with CGI that isn’t fantastic, but good enough to keep the movie humming along.

The six astronauts in the space module ‘Europa One’ are on a two-year long flight to investigate whether life exists on Europa. Apparently, where there’s ice (Europa is covered in it), there’s life, so a private company ‘Europa Ventures’ gathers enough funds for the mission. Nothing much is said as to how and why a private company is funding the mission, but there’s a viral marketing site that gives some background on the mission and company.

Inevitably, things do not go smoothly for the crew, and they encounter a solar storm that knocks out communication with Earth. With real-time communication gone, the rest of the movie is pieced together with footage that is filmed by the modules cameras. This ‘found footage’ approach to movies should be familiar to us by now (after Cloverfield and Blair Witch Project), and it works pretty well for Europa Report, with its solid script, excellent editing and limited budget.

There are no big name actors in Europa Report, and they deliver decent performances that support the fluidly evolving story-line. My only real complaint about the movie is the finale, which is a bit of a letdown (some things are best left unseen!). Other than that, Ecuadorian director Sebastián Cordero and the rest of the crew deliver a very entertaining sci-fi movie, which follows in the footsteps of Moon (2009) in proving that you don’t need a titanic-sized budget to create a good movie.

Mystery awaits - The landing module descends onto Europa

Mystery awaits – The landing module descends onto Europa

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About The Author

Mountain Monkey's cozy childhood afternoons with Thunderbirds were forever shattered by a creepy matinee, 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon'. Things were never quite the same for Mountain Monkey, who developed a fascination for the esoteric side of cinema from a worryingly young age. These days, Mountain Monkey would rather be catching up with some shut eye and the latest Criterion Collection release, but the SCUM mission has come calling. Ohm...

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