Neil Burger only directed the first installment of the ill-fated “Divergent” series before moving on to more lucrative problems (“Billions,” “The Upside”), but his latest film — a self-generated story that re-stages “Lord of the Flies” on a cramped spaceship full of horny teens — suggests an enduring fascinating with the same kind of YA futurism that was all the rage back when Lionsgate was hoping to make Beatrice Prior into the next Katniss Everdeen. Between its dystopian overtures, antiseptic white sets, and diverse-ish cast of talented young actors forced to subsume their colorful screen personas into embryonic characters whose dialogue is limited to lines like “what does it feel like to feel something?,” “Voyagers” may chart an 86-year course across the galaxy but it certainly doesn’t take viewers anywhere they haven’t already been.
For better or worse, Burger knows it doesn’t have to. The middling but enjoyable “Voyagers” is meant to be a timeless parable about the primitive essence of human nature; if its space-age shenanigans are broadly identical to the beats of a book William Golding wrote about a group of preadolescent boys who crash on a deserted island during World War II, that’s more of a feature than it is a bug. It doesn’t excuse the script for being a universe wide and an inch deep, or let Burger off the hook for telling a story about chaos that follows the cleanest possible route to its predetermined destination, but it does make it easier to appreciate “Voyagers” for the bolder choices that it makes along the way.
Choices like assigning its young space cadets a chaperone played by Colin Farrell. The year is 2063, and — surprise, surprise — Earth isn’t doing so great. It turns out that denying the reality of climate change didn’t make the problem go away, and now humanity has to find a new rock to call home. The good news is that we’ve found one; the bad news is that it will take almost a full century for our scouting vessel to reach the distant planet and determine its viability. The solution: we’ll create a genetically engineered fleet of gifted children (the offspring of MIT scientists and Nobel laureates) whose sole purpose in life will be to repopulate aboard the Humanitas so that their grandkids will one day be alive to touch down in the new world.
“Voyagers” is never more engaging than when it confronts the underlying truth of this grim mission: We all inherited the same one. We’re all hurtling through space and wrestling with our directives as we chart a course towards a future we’ll never live to see, the only difference is that we have the luxury of being distracted from the task at hand.
Farrell plays Richard, a scientist and sad-eyed father figure whose job is to make sure that these star children keep their eyes on the prize. Implausibly (yet now undeniably) one of the best actors in the Milky Way, Farrell has been known to show …read more
GRAMMYS 2021: Watch Doja Cat’s ELECTRIFYING Say So Performance
Doja Cat took fans to the future with an electrifying performance of her smash single ‘Say So’ during the GRAMMYs, which aired Sunday on CBS. For the 25-year-old singer’s debut appearance at the GRAMMYs, she delivered impressive vocals and fierce choreography. ET spoke with Doja on the red carpet ahead of music’s biggest night, where she explained what it felt like to attend her first-ever GRAMMY Awards.