One of the most disappointing things about space exploration movies is that the bulk of them, eventually, turn into battles between humans and some kind of monster. If a being can travel through space for millions of light years, why would it be interested solely in killing the shit out of whatever it finds?

Europa Report doesn’t have that problem because it involves a crew of humans going out into the far reaches of space. The problem of why intelligent beings that pilot through space would just want to harm is therefore mitigated. 

What isn’t mitigated is the limitations of sci-fi, found-footage movies, and things that go bump in the night. In other words, different set-up, similar results. Fortunately, Europa Report has good performances by actors who give life to characters that on the page are pretty bland. Sharlto Copley, also seen in Elysium, is in particular very good, but he’s gone far too soon.

One thing this what’s-on-Jupiter’s-moon movie has going for it is a mounting sense of dread and a short running time. But Europa Report squanders its potential as it nears its inevitable and, frankly, stupid and shortsighted conclusion. That last five minutes are a joke. 

Directed by Sebastian Cordero

With Sharlto Copley, Karolina Wydra and Christian Camargo
Jean Cocteau Cinema
90 min.