director: neil burger (divergent, limitless, the illusionist)
starring: lily-rose depp, tye sheridan, fionn whitehead and colin farrell
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A crew of astronauts on a multi-generational mission descends into paranoia and madness, not knowing what is real or not.
When it comes to films set in the realms of space exploration we’ve kinda seen every scenario from aliens infiltrating the ship to a crew with a mission of restarting the sun by using a massive bomb. But Voyagers is a slightly new take on the genre; a Hunger Games come Lord of the Flies sprinkled with a little bit of lust in space kinda film. Voyagers is a thrilling psychological ride into space wonderfully aided by its young cast led by Depp, Sheridan and Whitehead.
With the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. As life on the ship descends into chaos, they’re consumed by fear, lust, and the insatiable hunger for power.
Voyagers hadn’t been on my radar until I received the media screening invitation so apart from seeing the poster, I went into this film blind and was pleasantly surprised. It's clear to see Neil Burger’s, the director of the young adults dystopian Divergent, fingerprints all over the tone, themes and structure of this film. It feels very much like your classic, slightly dystopian YA film like Divergent, Hunger Games or The Maze Runner.
But what makes this film different from the YA films that have gone before it is its structure, tone and the ethical questions that it poses. The story builds slowly (a little bit of the nearly two hour running time could have been shaved off) and it’s only when the medication keeping them docile has been removed that we see the young crew members for who they really are. The film builds towards a thrilling ending which will have you on the very edge of your seat.
The film leaves questions hanging over the audience from everything from the ethics of breeding humans just for space exploration and taking away their self autonomy to whether its rules or our innate nature that make us act morally as human beings. For those questions and more that it poses, Voyagers proves that this it has more in its back of tricks than your standard YA film.
Lily-Rose Depp, Tye Sheridan and Fionn Whitehead are all equally superb in their roles and add a real acting weight and watchability to the whole proceedings through their performances.
Voyagers is a thrilling psychological ride into space wonderfully aided by its young cast led by Depp, Sheridan and Whitehead.