The Ti­tan

The Guardian - G2 - - Re­view Film -

★★☆☆☆ Dir Len­nart Ruff Star­ring Sam Wor­thing­ton, Tay­lor Schilling, Tom Wilkin­son Length 95 mins Cert 15

Not a bad idea, this. But where it could have de­liv­ered a mount­ing sense of dread, crowned with hor­ror, the film seems con­cerned to hedge its bets by bal­anc­ing the dis­turb­ing stuff with a feel­good drama about a fam­ily pulling to­gether. It’s a sci-fi mys­tery thriller, dis­trib­uted by Net­flix and di­rected by fea­ture first-timer Len­nart Ruff, based on an orig­i­nal story idea by screen­writer Arash Amel.

We are some decades in the fu­ture; over­pop­u­la­tion and eco­log­i­cal calamity have made Earth un­in­hab­it­able, and our only chance for sur­vival is to send some hardy pi­o­neers to Ti­tan, a moon of Saturn with an at­mo­sphere in which homo sapi­ens could con­ceiv­ably sur­vive with the right ge­netic mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Sam Wor­thing­ton plays Lt Rick Janssen, a tough mil­i­tary man who has vol­un­teered for the topse­cret med­i­cal pro­gramme, Tay­lor Schilling plays his wife, Abi, and Noah Jupe is their son, Lu­cas. Tom Wilkin­son plays the care­worn Pro­fes­sor Colling­wood, who is mas­ter­mind­ing this last-chance scheme for Hu­man­ity 2.0.

At first, Rick and his fam­ily are pretty thrilled by the lux­u­ri­ous LA-style home they are al­lowed to oc­cupy for the pro­gramme’s du­ra­tion, and this is in­ter­est­ingly pre­sented. But as Rick and his fel­low guinea pigs un­dergo a bru­tal drugs reg­i­men, it be­comes pro­gres­sively clear that they have not been told ev­ery­thing about what is hap­pen­ing to them. It is the kind of sci-fi drama in which the point is not in­ter­plan­e­tary space travel, it is all about the ten­sion and con­spir­acy on the home front. But it should lead some­where dra­mat­i­cally, and this is an­ti­cli­mac­tic. PB

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