A Voyage you can skip
Teenagers run amok in outer space in Lionsgate's Voyagers from director Neil Burger. The film takes place in the near future. It follows the odyssey of 30 young men and women sent deep into space on a multi-generational mission in search of a new home. Among the crew are natural-born leaders Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Sela (Lily-Rose Depp), hothead Zac (Fionn Whitehead), and caring Phoebe (Chanté Adams). Guiding the youth is a scientist named Richard (Colin Farrell) who decided to leave his earthly life behind.
To control the young adults, Richard prescribes them something called blue, which controls all of the urges that most young adults desire. Before long, a tragedy occurs, and the mission descends into madness. As the crew reverts to its most primal state, not knowing if the real threat they face is what is outside the ship or whom they are becoming inside it. In a nutshell, writer/director Neil Burger has used the template established in William Golding's 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, and set it in outer space.
From the synopsis of the film alone and its trailer, I already knew the angles the film was going to take and what would happen to certain characters. Thus therein lies the many problems I had with Voyagers as a whole. While I will give Burger credit for his interesting idea, his execution leaves little to the imagination. The joys of human nature and what teenagers will do once they lose the shackles of their parent's rules will always be an interesting plot template to use. However, in Voyagers, it just never comes together. In the protagonist and agonist roles, Tye Sheridan and Fionn Whitehead do what they can with the material. However, I feel that the wiser move would have been a character swap for the actors, as it would have allowed them a chance to show off their range. Lily-Rose Depp appears to be on autopilot for the entire film and is only here for a paycheck, as is Colin Farrell.
The only cast member who somewhat impressed me was the delightful Chanté Adams, who does her best to elevate the mundane script. Unfortunately, everything else in the film's script, from the pacing to the lack of humor, is non-existent. Clocking at around 100 mins, Voyagers ends up feeling like a 3-hour film. Sci-fi fans may find something to enjoy in Voyagers, but mainstream moviegoers may want to skip this trip.
Final Grade: D
Voyagers is in theaters now