Star – Jay Duplass
My Rating ****
Genre – Science Fiction
Run Time – 1 Hr 40 Minutes.
Certificate – 15
Country – U.S.A
Awards – 6 wins & 11 nominations
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I like low to mid-budget Sci-Fi from new directors and this is one to watch out for. Stuff like Gareth Evans ‘Monsters’ and the likes of ‘Primer’ work because things that are wrong with normal films you can get away with in lower budget ones and just seen as quirky touches. As long as you spend your money right on the big external special-effect in space and set the mood right on your alien planet then these films can be interesting and atmospheric, the case with Prospect, its unique look and feel making this different from any other Sci-fi I have seen lately.
It’s from writer director team Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell with the central concept that space is a hard graft place to survive as their blue-collar characters evade death on a daily basis, carving out a meager existence with barely functional tools on a toxic planet on the fringes of space. It’s clever in that its Low-Fi kit matches the films look as stuff breaks and prospectors fight for their treasures, rinsing out every drop of its $4 million budget.
Sophie Thatcher … Cee
Jay Duplass … Damon
Pedro Pascal … Ezra
Luke Pitzrick … Number Two
Arthur Deranleau … Fahr
Andre Royo … Oruf
Alex McCauley … Bahr
Doug Dawson … Heshir
Krista Johnson … Gali
Brian Gunter … Mesur
Sheila Vand … Inumon
Anwan Glover … Mikken
Trick Danneker … Jack
Christopher Morson … Zed
Ben Little … Prisoner
A father and daughter prospecting team are heading out to the outer reaches of their galaxy to mine rare pearl like gems on a Green Moon called Bakhroma on the Kaslo Service Route, which added additional drop pods to the moon service for prospectors to take their chances in the hostile environment. The air is poisoned down there by deadly spores so they have to wear protective suits and breathing masks with everything they do, making it sweaty, cumbersome and dangerous work.
It’s a risky return trip to as they must leave at a certain point or they miss the slingback, the automated space vessel that got them using the sling of the moons gravity to return to its original route, with or without then back on board the docking points. Who knows when the next transporter will return?
As the commuter freighter that carries the passengers approaches the green moon, the drop pods descend dad Damon (Jay Duplass ) and Daughter Cee (Sophie Thatcher) to the moon. The freighter then orbits around the backside of the green moon to prepare the pick up.
Down safe with a few fused electrical shorts after a bumpy landing the two set out to harvest the gems in a forest from large living fungi creatures that contain the pearl like gens in the acidic mucus the plant hybrid secrete. But they are not alone down there and soon have a run in with fellow prospectors, two of the four ending up dead. Cee and survivor Ezra (Pedro Pascal) can’t argue the toss anymore on who was to blame for the confrontation and have to figure out how to get off the moon to pick up the transport as the 15-years-old kids ship is shot, many more dangers lurking.
I liked this one and an above average smart and atmospheric little Sci – Fi to enjoy, if you can find it out there. Gone are the bombastic space shootouts with square jawed heroes and slim busty space girls and this very much a more realistic blue collar space future for humans, zero hours contracts and long hours in dangerous jobs just to break even. I suppose it’s a metaphor for the young kids digging for rare earth metals in Africa so westerners can keep up with the latest mobile phones and laptops, something we don’t talk about in the Apple Store.
It looks great for its budget and although the forest of Hoo National Park rather too earth like the poising of the environment with the spores allows that concept to work well and provide a silent menace to every action the prospectors take. The laser guns are cheap and fun to, a nice touch. In fact every part of this ‘prospecting on the cheap’ texture makes this ooze class. A clever script writing team have really thought about the films morals and ideas.
Acting wise Thatcher is a talented new comer and Duplass the only known actor here to me. Female emancipation is a modern trait in Sci-Fi films and no change there although a lot more vulnerable lady here. The original script was more Shakespearean but tapered down for some reason but still works. But the lads can write and I expect their next film to be just as interesting and thought provoking.
Imdb.com 6.1/10.0 – (11,435 votes)
Rottentomatos.com –89% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com –68 % critic’s approval