A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.
I will be brief.
First, contrary to what some other reviewers have stated, there is no need whatsoever for the science fiction component of this story. It may as well have taken place at a cabin on a lake in Maine. In this respect, it betrays the legacies of both Lem and Tarkovsky.
Second, the questions it raises are not particularly profound ones. Do we feel guilt and how does it affect us? Is memory reality? What would we do when given a second chance, and would it trivialize all we have previously experienced? Unfortunately, these are developed and explored no better than the hypothetical question, "If you could be invisible, what would you do?" And where Soderbergh apparently wishes to address issues in casual conversation, the thoughts of these supposedly highly-educated and experienced individuals are, in fact, quite banal.
Third, the acting is above-average, but not in any way exceptional. I truly am a rationalist and skeptic, just like Clooney's character, and I did not identify with his character or his situation at all.
Finally, the movie is indeed very slowly paced. No, I wasn't looking for giant bugs or technical dissertations on cryo-sleep...I just wanted some advancement of the plot...or at least some character development.
In summary, this movie is slightly interesting, but it is ultimately frustrating and unfulfilling. Like some other reviewers, I kept bringing up the time remaining display on the DVD player and thinking, "I've still got 45 minutes of this to sit through?"
Rating: * out of ****
- Oct 9, 2003