April 8, 2021

GENRE | Lost in Space Odyssey – Lord of the 'Voyagers'

Colin Farrell Neil Burger | Voyagers
Lionsgate / AGC Studios
Writer/director Neil Burger turns his moody space odyssey Voyagers into the usual Lord of the Flies allegory with its main subjects replaced by overly hormonal (and very good-looking) teenagers. Set in 2063, the dystopian film tries to hammer the familiar sci-fi warnings of environmental harm and tribalist behaviour through a glossy sheen of melodrama.

Starring up-and-coming actors Tye Sheridan (stoic), Lily-Rose Depp (sultry), Fionn Whitehead (sly), and Colin Farrell as the adult chaperon, Voyagers recycles its allegorical themes with the expected stand-ins for the beast, Piggy, and so on. Its young characters were bred and born aboard their spaceship without any of the baggage of Earth to be the ideal crew to colonize a new planet deemed optimal for resettlement.

Burger's unfocused and all too resonant tale of human existence set against the vastness of outer space takes too much from William Golding's seminal 1954 novel without adding any updated twists to make its classic lessons any more relevant. It seems unable to decide how exactly it should riff on its familiar material whether it be a sexy teen drama, isolated space horror, or a twisted Model United Nations.

Voyagers drifts off and never makes its timeless story feel particularly contemporary nor reverent. It's a slick but superficial rehash of young adult literature about the dangers of tribalism and sort of political warning for democratic compromise.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire

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