Thursday, July 5, 2018

Movie Review: "The Titan" (2018)

Director: Lennart Ruff
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

A man joins an experimental program that is designed to help evolve humans so they can live on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. As the experiment progresses, the man's wife starts to worry he and his fellow test subjects are becoming more monster than man.
"There's nothing left on this planet but misery." (Image Source)
There has to be a point when so much goes wrong, that someone has to stop and say, "you know, I don't think our current approach will lead to the best long-term solution for our situation." "The Titan" is directed by Lennart Ruff and serves as his feature film directorial debut. It is an original sci-fi thriller written by Max Hurwitt and Arash Amel. The film stars Sam Worthington as Lt. Rick Janssen, a military man who has recently signed up for an experimental program meant to save mankind from impending doom. Food is becoming scarce due to ongoing climate change. Natural disasters are on the rise, and the earth is in danger of significant population loss. A scientist named Professor Martin Collingwood (Tom Wilkinson) believes he has a solution: an experimental program that will use genetic engineering to evolve humans so they can live on Saturn's largest moon Titan. As the experiment progresses, Rick's wife, Dr. Abi Janssen (Taylor Schilling), starts to have reservations about the program and begins to think Rick and the other test subjects are losing their humanity in order to save it. She thinks Professor Collingwood isn't telling them everything he knows and has ulterior motives in mind.
"You want your kids to grow up knowing their father was a hero." (Image Source)
Netflix is planning on releasing upwards of 80 original films on their platform this year, and "The Titan" is one of them. If this movie is any indication of what's to come, it appears as if Netflix is still running a policy of quantity over quality. It's not that the production values look cheap here because they don't. The makeup work is actually very decent. The entire this competently shot in that it is well framed and in focus. It has a great cast with Sam Worthington, who was in the highest grossing movie of all time ("Avatar"), Taylor Schilling from "Orange is the New Black," Nathalie Emmanuel from "Game of Thrones," and two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson. The actors do a solid job with the material they are given, except for Worthington. He doesn't offer much range in his performance, but then again, does he ever? For the majority of the movie, he uses a gravely "I'm a tough guy" American accent, which gets real grating real quick.

One of the biggest problems in "The Titan" is its pacing. It is not a very long movie, but the story drags on and on, repeating itself without ever becoming something bigger. It feels like it's building to an ultimate payoff that sadly never comes. There is so much unnecessary filler that in the end, we found ourselves bored while watching it. The other big issue is in its script and overall narrative. It doesn't seem all that well thought out. The solution to global climate change on earth is to move to a planet incapable of supporting human life by unnaturally evolving people??! That's like going to the doctor with a gaping wound and asking help, so they squeeze lemon juice on it while sneezing directly into it. It does nothing to help the situation. In fact, it probably makes it worse. That's how we felt about Professor Collingwood's plan by the time it ended. It's as if the writers didn't know how to end their own damn movie, so they threw some bullshit finale on it that appeases literally no one.
"I won't sit here and watch him turn my husband into a fucking animal." (Image Source)
Most of "The Titan" is a slow-burning thriller about humanity. It's about what it means to be you and what it means to be human. Unfortunately, it entirely falls apart in the third act. The writers didn't know how to close out the story, so they just added a few small action sequences and one nonsensical unsatisfying ending after the other... seriously, it feels like there are at least four endings before it reaches its ultimate conclusion. Despite some neat visuals, this movie isn't worth your time.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~4.8/10
RT Rating: ~17%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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