Review: Voyager (2021)

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Voyager (2021)

Directed by: Neil Burger | 108 minutes | adventure, science fiction | Actors: Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Chanté Adams, Quintessa Swindell, Archie Madekwe, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Viveik Kalra, Madison Hu, Archie Renaux, Wern Lee, Colin Farrell, April Grace, Laura Dreyfuss, Veronica Falcón, Patrick Bucuro

‘Lord of the Flies’, published in 1954, is one of the best-known and best-loved books of the twentieth century. William Golding’s debut novel tells the story of a group of schoolboys who are shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island. In the beginning they work together, but gradually two camps arise, both of which strive for power on the island. This struggle for supremacy goes from bad to worse, until all-out chaos breaks out among the boys.

The story of ‘Lord of the Flies’ is used to this day as teaching material to illustrate the social development of groups in extreme situations. The success of the book is largely related to the human interest in power structures, and the decay of norms and values ​​that can come into play. The book has also generated a lot of interest in the film landscape over the years. Director Neil Burger is the latest filmmaker to use literary work as his source of inspiration. He takes the story and principles of ‘Lord of the Flies’ almost immediately, but changes the setting from a desert island to a futuristic spacecraft. It results in an unoriginal and predictable film.

In Voyagers, the Earth begins to become uninhabitable. A group of young men and women, genetically bred for their high intelligence, have been chosen to colonize a new planet. Richard (Colin Farrell) has volunteered to accompany the group on the expedition. The journey goes smoothly and smoothly for ten years, but when friends Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead) discover that something isn’t right about their mission, tempers quickly run high. As the situation threatens to escalate, the question arises as to who actually has the power on board. A struggle for supremacy seems inevitable.

Voyagers is the result of a filmmaker who wants to put his own spin on a well-known work, but who lacks the talent and aspiration to guarantee it. The plot of the film is simple, predictable and often illogical. Neil Burger scatters all kinds of ideas and thoughts, but then does nothing with them. Burger is not interested in substance, but rather in clichés and formalities.

His film seems to have been designed specifically for an adolescent audience, which is reflected in the half-hearted characters and the various romantic subplots. These are so poorly developed that you can only roll your eyes. But even for young viewers, which Burger apparently has set his sights on, the film offers very little. They want to lose themselves in a magical world or sympathize with recognizable problems from their own lives. This is not offered by ‘Voyagers’. Then the question is: who is this film suitable for? The glorified young adult film owes us that answer. We’ll just have to think about it ourselves.

‘Voyagers’ does everything it can to resemble ‘Lord of the Flies’, but the rough edge that made the original novel so good is completely absent this time. Now we are presented with flat love and fabricated drama. William Golding’s original premise was apparently too pessimistic for Neil Burger. Maybe in his next film he can get his inspiration from something obscure, or better yet, come up with something original.

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