Voyagers (2021) – Movie Review
11th April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden
Based on a novel by Stephen King, The Dead Zone follows Johnny (Christopher Walken), a teacher who is head over heels in love with a woman he hopes to marry in due time. But things go wrong when Johnny gets involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident, putting Johnny in a coma. Five years later, Johnny awakes from his coma and discovers a supernatural gift within him. By touching the hand of another, Johnny can see into the future and gain a vision of the moment of their death. Johnny will begin questioning his new ability and if it is, in fact, a blessing or a curse.
The future is here. Earth has a significant problem as it continues to heat up more and more, making it an unliveable planet. The only way the people of Earth can get by is to investigate and find a new home.
Thirty young men and women are selected for a critical mission. The selection includes some of the finest young people of Earth who are well educated and healthy. Leading the mission is Richard (Colin Farrell), who is quite passionate to support the crew as much as possible. To the young people, he is a teacher, counsellor, and a general close friend. The mission will take over eighty years, which means the young people selected will never get to see their new home, but their purpose is to create new life once they are the appropriate age, and then the next generation will save the entire world.
The mission is in progress, but Christopher (Tye Sheridan) & Zac (Fionn Whitehead) begin to question a few elements on the ship. They examine a blue liquid that they must drink daily and wonder why certain areas on the ship are hidden. What starts as a minor act of rebellion becomes a path of madness and paranoia, not just for Christopher and Zac but for the entire onboard crew. They also begin to question each other on topics such as leadership, affections and trust. To make matters worse, the team are also on edge as they learn there could be the threat of an alien creature on the ship. Can the mission be completed to save Earth? Will members of the ship survive the chaos?
Visually, I found Voyagers to be rather pleasing. The world of outer space and future technology concepts on the ship were rather creative and great to see, and elements such as the sound effects were also outstanding. As a plot, Voyagers has a slow start. Once we see the ship members begin to raise questions and take risks, I was generally curious to know what will happen next. I was also questioning if the ship did really have an alien creature on board.
But sadly, Voyagers is not a simple watch. While Voyagers delivers a pleasing world of space and sci-fi, the film’s plot is quite messy. We witness characters doing repeated things: questioning the truth, arguing over leadership, exhibiting trust issues, and seeing teenagers discover their emotions and sexual feelings for the first time. While such discovery seems like an interesting concept for the first time, the film reveals these aspects in a repetitive, confusing manner. It is also frustrating watching these so-called intelligent youth make continually unwise choices.
The film is also entirely predictable, contains cheesy performances, and there are some moments that I generally found awkward to watch. Watching a teenager touch a young girl without her permission for the first time with no real consequences, even from an adult figure, was extremely disappointing to see. Make note; this is not the type of film to share on a first date.
The editing here is also questionable. There are moments where characters discuss an issue or have conflict only to get distracted by another issue that is occurring elsewhere, and the dispute is suddenly ignored. The film does not flow well, and scenes feel disjointed, failing to bring continuous flow to the story. After the film, I questioned if many cuts and edits were made for the sake of the film’s runtime. For the most part, performances were fine, but by the third act, characters become more laughable than serious as they deliver lines that are just unfitting, cheesy and over the top.
Overall, while I enjoy the concept of a group of youth travelling to a new planet to save the world and visually Voyagers has a few genuinely pleasing aspects as a sci-fi movie, it is messy and awkward. The editing is questionable, making scenes feel more disjointed rather than seamless. The film is also incredibly predictable regarding its mysteries. The plot elements feel repetitive as we watch the ship’s crew bicker and argue over the same topic repeatedly to the point the film becomes laughable instead of something more exciting and memorable. Voyagers felt as though it was aimed at a more teenage audience.
Voyagers (2021) is Available on Blu-ray & DVD from August 4th!