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REVIEW: The Titan

April 13, 2018

Director: Lennart Ruff

Screenplay: Max Hurwitz

Starring: Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson, Agyness Deyn, Nathalie Emmanuel, Corey Johnson

Runtime: 97 Minutes

 

★★☆☆☆

 

The Titan appears to have handed between studios sold on the promise of something more. A dystopian science fiction film influenced by body horror and hard science but is subversively more of a love story, where humans are sent to the moon Titan in an effort to escape the end of the world by changing their biology.

 

An interesting starting point that the film does nothing with in terms of surprise or fulfilling arcs or defining characters, directed by a first-time feature filmmaker who just doesn’t have a handle on what he’s got. Despite the glow of holographic screens and near-future tech, the entire thing looks shockingly low-grade with poor and unflattering lighting to all the interior sets, and the less said about the exterior the better.

 

The film isn’t unwatchable, there are points in the first act in which the promise of something more makes it almost too tantalising a prospect to dismiss, even though everything looks and feels as flat and cheaply produced as the rest of it. But it quickly becomes apparent that it's going not only exactly where you think it’s going, but in the most indolent way with a poor pace and even poorer characters who lack any real dimension.

 

At the heart of it – or at least what it ultimately devolves into – is the relationship of the family being torn apart at the centre of it, and neither the actors nor the film can sell any of it in a tangibly believable or engaging way. Taylor Schilling as the suffering wife of our mutating hero gets enough screen time but does or says very little with Schilling barely registering as a presence, although she gets off better in comparison to the leading men.

 

It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade back Sam Worthington was touted as one of the next big Hollywood stars, because hardly any of his work shows dexterity or range with an inability to hold on to any accent for longer than a few seconds. He’s the dim void at the centre of it all that sucks the whole movie in, and even when his transformation turns himself into something inhumane he can’t even make an emotionless alien creature compelling.

 

Tom Wilkinson is just picking up the check seemingly without a single wardrobe change while exerting himself the least of anyone else on screen, while Agyness Deyn and Nathalie Emmanuel thanklessly turn up and disappear for stretches.

 

The Titan doesn’t warrant anybody's time. It’s a waste of potential that any more capable filmmaker or writer might have been able to work into something much deeper, but ends up a bore with unimpressive effects and inferior drama.

 

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