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Travelers

A group of gorgeous young people give in to their most primitive urges on a decades-long interplanetary journey in “Voyagers.” What if it looks sexy Lord of the Fliesin space, well … it is. But despite the familiar nature of writer / director themes Neil burger explores, his film still offers a lot of tension and its characteristic visual panache.

Similar to his “Unlimited”From ten years ago – the film that showed the world Bradley Cooper was a serious actor and not just a pretty face – Burger tells a story about what happens when people tap into their true selves, for better or for worse. Instead of taking a drug, however, they eliminate one from their system: a daily drink they call “the blue.” These astronauts think it’s a vitamin supplement to strengthen them for the long haul, but it evens them out and removes negative tendencies like jealousy and rage. It’s meant to be all for the greater good, however, in Burger’s simplified sci-fi tale.

In the near future, the Earth has become uninhabitable due to climate change, drought and disease. Scientists discover a new planet for humans to colonize. The problem is, it takes 86 years to get there. So they raise a crew of brilliant cadets who will board the ship and eventually breed during the voyage, with the ultimate goal of getting their grandchildren back to this brave new world. They include Christopher, lucid (Tye Sheridan), curious chief physician Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead), who is clearly going to get mean based just on his intense eyes and chiseled cheekbones. The only seasoned adult on board is Richard (a tender and Colin Farrell), who has been instrumental in educating these astronauts since their inception and wants to complete the mission, even though he knows he will die during it.

Burger effectively sets the rhythms of this place and the roles the crew members play in it. They’re busy and lively but peaceful as they work together in their matching, midnight blue t-shirts and joggers to do repairs, grow food, and stay in shape. Part of their daily routine is going to the dining room fountain to pour themselves a thin glass of a blue drink that they believe is for their overall health. But when Christopher and Zac begin to question its benefits and stop drinking it – and then advise others to do the same – an exciting sensory awakening occurs in each of them.

Reminiscent of drug-editing sequences in films such as “Requiem for a dreamBurger zipped and vibrantly portrayed the rush for pure emotions for the first time: the joy of running in a hallway, the playful wrestling effort in the gym or – over time – the pleasure of touching a member of the opposite. sex. (Apparently there are no gay astronauts on this mission.) A geyser erupts, the pupils shrink and dilate, the hairs on the arms stand up – the kind of images you’ve seen time and time again to suggest a symphony of sensations. But the dark strings in the composer’s score Trevor Gureckis suggest that this reverie cannot last, and a ship that once seemed full of discoveries and limitless possibilities is tightening up with claustrophobia and paranoia. (Chilean director of photography Enrique Chediak makes this elegant and singular place both expansive and compelling, forcing you to rush through the hallways like you too are being chased by angry and horny teens.)

Going off The Blue allows the true personalities of astronauts to reveal themselves, resulting in a time-tested debate between nature and culture. As cadets become more confident and curious, issues of agency and consent also come to the fore. But Burger doesn’t really delve into these topics; rather, he seems more interested in moving the story forward to a vivid clip as the characters light up and attack each other. Burger also performed the first “DivergentWhich “Voyagers” looks like with its attractive actors and futuristic, YA-friendly premises.

Within this crucible, a kind-hearted but boring Christopher emerges as a natural leader seeking to protect his teammates and maintain some semblance of civilization. He’s Ralph’s character, if we can go on Lord of the Fliesanalogy – and Zac clearly becomes the swaggering, antagonistic Jack as his impulsiveness and cruel streak sets in. At one point he even said to others, “Anyone who wants to follow me can. I will make more food. He’s creepy in his depravity and ability to lie and turn events around based on his narrative, but there’s not a whole lot of complexity in there. Depp, as Sela, keeps his wits on her in the midst of the chaos, but has little else to do than be the beautiful woman they both fight for. And the book Phoebe (Chanted Adams of “Roxanne roxanne), Which is constantly silenced when she tries to argue for reason, works like the sadly put Piggy figure on.

But if Burger was interested in telling a really relevant and thought-provoking story, it would have been cool to have him in charge, or anyone other than those two simple male archetypes he made up in his own lab.

Now playing in theaters.

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