Tackling conceptual familiarity with well-implemented sci-fi intricacies, Europa Report aptly addresses the question “Are we alone in the universe?” with a fictional manned mission to Jupiter’s ice-covered moon, Europa. Banking on the strength of evidence gathered from extended research, the Europa One’s carefully selected crew of specialists sets out to scavenge a supposed hotspot for living organisms. Cleverly and methodically unveiling a revolutionary discovery laced with bit upon bit of deep space tragedy, writer/director Cordero employs the resurfaced, never before seen found footage approach to mostly above average avail.
As to be expected, nearly all of Europa Report‘s beauty is in the details – an intelligent, well thought-out script brimming with plausible space travel logistics mirroring the equally talented team at its core. Familiarly building in intensity slowly but surely, the film takes pride in its systematic juxtaposition of footage and events, more specifically the effective, all-encompassing quality the archive footage of the mission’s financiers possesses. From this basic but necessary footage to the respective fates of all involved, Cordero competently weaves a non-linear narrative web that assuredly keeps you involved, an inherent sense of distress brought on by sparse genre thrills marginally adding to its appeal.
Attempting to but never quite capitalizing on expected but almost nonexistent emotional fallout, Europa Report‘s humanistic traits are often overshadowed by its increasingly intriguing sci-fi trappings. Although some characters begin to fit the mold of standard, sometimes silly archetypes, these individuals are well-portrayed and valuably contribute to completing the daunting task at hand despite many a devastating obstruction. Simplistic in scope but game-changing in terms of warranted voluminous detail, an aesthetically pleasing unexplored niche of outer space and a steadfastness in saving the best for last, Europa Report is more than just standard genre-bending fare.