The teenage crew of a multi-generational spaceship journey descend
into madness and chaos after they stop taking their medication.
Written and Directed by Neil Burger
Starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp,
Fionn Whitehead, Chanté Adams, Quintessa Swindell,
Archie Madekwe, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Madison Hu
Voyagers has been getting eviscerated by critics, with the film currently sitting at a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's not perfect, but it's a far cry from the worst. Granted, it has a "young adult dystopia" vibe to it, and I think that's mostly due to writer/director Neil Burger, who directed the first Divergent film and produced the two others. Plus, teenagers are annoying anyway, and if you give them any sort of power, this is exactly what would happen. A bunch of hormonal, sex-crazed weirdos who don't know how to control their emotions because all they were ever taught was how to survive, not how to live.
In 2063, mankind has nearly exhausted Earth's resources, so a scouting mission is sent to a possible Earth-like planet 86 light years away. The crew is born and bred by scientists to have one goal: Survive in space to give birth to the next generation, whose kids will grow up to colonize the planet. These kids know nothing outside of the mission, and they are tricked into drinking a drug that inhibits their hormones and suppresses desire. Once they figure this out, they stop taking it and all hell breaks loose. They split into factions, go to war with each other, fuck each other, kill each other. It's Lord of the Flies in space, which is what every critic has been saying anyway. The performances aren't bad, but the characters are never all that fleshed out. Even after they stop taking the blue, as they call it, they never express any personality beyond "I want that, give it to me."
Voyagers had real potential, but Burger played it safe. What we got was a watered down version of what could've been a really disturbing, unforgettable sci-fi thriller. Colin Farrell is barely in the film, which was disappointing, and the remaining characters have no frame of reference. You can't relate to them because there's nothing to relate to. Combine that with an ending that is way too sappy for what was building up to it, and you've got a film that dropped the ball but's still a decent watch.