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Voyagers (2021) - Movie Review

Voyagers (2021) - Movie Review
7 10

PLOT: With the hopes of populating a new planet, a crew of young adults bread for colonization get into some deep sh*t when paranoia takes over during their 83-year voyage.

LOWDOWN: Earth is looking towards the future and decides that they must colonize a new planet for the species to survive. The issue that worries them is that the mission's team would need to fight fear, depression, and confinement while on the multi-generational mission. Instead, the government breeds genetically enhanced kids to grow up, mate, and have their children populate the new planet. This will help stop any of the previous issues as they would be raised in a ship's environment and know nothing of the real world. You can't miss what you've never experienced.

I knew very little going into Voyagers, and starting with a discussion on humanity and what it means to exist hooked me instantly. I figured things would go wrong quickly as these types of stories usually aren't about society prospering. Still, I like this type of sci-fi that gets me thinking about how we will eventually deal with a dying planet and the species' continuation. A montage has these cute kids in space training ending up as twenty-somethings on a journey that will take the rest of their lives to complete. Richard (Colin Farrell) is the rock of the story here as a soft-spoken intellectual who has cared for this team since birth and decides to give up his own life and accompany them on the voyage where he will spend the remainder of his life. I love Colin Farrell, even though his agent should get fired fast. Colin gets put into some sh*t movies, which he is clearly above. Hire whoever Jai Courtney uses. That dude is in EVERYTHING. Since Colin is great at being harsh, I liked how calm he plays Richard. There is almost a Zen-type of quality to him. He acts as a surrogate father to everyone with the intent to raise the crew with a solid moral compass. 

The young adults drink vitamin water called "The Blue," which secretly suppresses emotion and sexual urges with the practical use of keeping everyone on the task at hand. Why does an enhanced, highly intelligent lab-birthed human have these emotions at all? I do not know. Good question. They seem to quickly figure out that it's not vitamins, which means Richard is lying. This causes everyone to quit cold turkey, activating a flood of emotions that turns everyone horny and aggressive. This splits the crew into two warring factions.Voyagers is basically Lord of the Flies in space.

We follow Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) as our main leads. They are here to put the mission first above all else, and even when they start to emote, they always try to keep it in check. Sheridan and Depp come off charming and sweet. Character-wise they're good-natured folk who, though blindly, want to keep to the mission at hand with the hopes of saving the species. Zac (Fionn Whitehead) goes f*cking nuts once he's off The Blue and causes a mutiny. He takes over as tribal leader, and a battle is set between his faction and the non-crazies, aka Chris, Sela, and a few others.

The first two-thirds of Voyagers is intriguing. You are never quite sure where things will go, and it deals with topics like isolation, human nature, and blind faith. It doesn't go into much depth, but situations arise where you wonder what you would do. With the slick and sterile white sets of 80s sci-fi, Voyagers is the type of story where you won't see a creature rampage through the halls but where the darkness of humanity will be on display. Up to a point, I thought that this would touch more on sexual urges or primal violence. Instead, Voyagers' third act goes simplistic and doesn't follow through on any of its headier ideas. This needed a pair of balls to act on what should have been a violent contemplation on life.

GORE: No gore here. This would have benefited from a little red stuff. Things needed to get brutal yet stayed on the safer side.

BOTTOM LINE: Liam Neeson made a movie about being hunted by wolves. It delved into the existential process of life and death. Yet, a movie about colonization and sacrificing one's life for the greater good doesn't touch upon anything profound beyond the surface level and goes the PG-13 action route. That's not to say it's a total bust. The set design is beautiful, and the story has legs, even if it drops the ball towards the end. Acting-wise, everyone does a solid job. It makes me laugh to think that I'm supposed to believe that all of these young adults go full rape and murder happy the second they feel emotion, but when things slow down, Voyagers has some heart. Overall it's a decent time that is an entertaining watch even if it should have gone full dark. But this proves once again that Colin Farrell is excellent as always.

VOYAGERS will release in theaters this Friday, April 9, 2021.

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