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Isaac Hempstead Wright in Voyagers.
Isaac Hempstead Wright in Voyagers.
Photo: Empire Entertainment




Now showing in cinemas.


2/5 Stars


With the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women embark on an expedition to colonise a distant planet. 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 soon become consumed by fear, lust and an insatiable hunger for power.


Let's be honest - Voyagers was never on anyone's list of most-anticipated movies to come out in 2021. All that it's got going for it is a Colin Farrell appearance, the director of Limitless and Divergent Neil Burger, that guy from Ready Player One and Johnny Depp's daughter.

Other than that, it's pretty much one giant snoozefest of a sci-fi movie.

It starts like any dystopian film - Earth is on the verge of total collapse. To preserve the human species, they send lab-created children on an 84-year mission to another habitable planet. It's drilled into them that they will likely never see the planet, and their only mission is to breed the next generations who will eventually make it.

However, ten years into their mission, a startling discovery threatens their course as teenage hormones suddenly start flying all over the place, all willy nilly.

At its core, this film is just a horny teen sci-fi romp dressed up in the pretence of introspection into the human condition. I really don't mind a trashy, fun film of sexy youth in space with this same kind of premise - then it can be a guilty pleasure - but I can't stand the obnoxious grandstanding when the writing is ghastly and the performances mediocre.

Most of the actors were indifferent to their respective roles, except perhaps for the psycho villain. The actor definitely channelled his inner white boy toxic masculinity to a cringe extreme. Alongside the weird blind mob following of the other, supposedly super-intelligent teens, I really don't know what kind of message they were trying to convey. That toxic masculinity is nature, not nurture? That you are born with raping and murdering tendencies? That some men just can't help themselves?

Uhm, no - those are all learned behaviours (except for extreme mental health cases) in a broken, patriarchal society, which these teenagers did not grow up in. Please do better.

Here's an alternate pitch - what if they actually broke up the film into three parts focusing on the three generations of the space voyage up until they reach the planet. That would have been an interesting exploration of generational progress, trauma and legacy - all in an insular microcosm of society.

The bitterness of the first generation that will never see the planet (touched on in the actual movie), the anxiety of their children as they hurtle through space and the tenacious hope of the grandchildren for a future outside of their confinement. It already sounds a lot better than a group of horny, murderous space teens.


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