Set in a near future where Earth is on the brink of collapse, a selection of military families travel to a research facility in order to take part in a revolutionary but dangerous experiment which will attempt to adapt the human body for survival on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Whilst director Lennart Ruff’s The Titan houses an intriguing premise, its execution is poorly handled, which results in a lacklustre thriller that seems unsure of what it’s trying to be.
The concept of genetically adapting our anatomy in order for our species to survive on other planets provides an original spin on a premise we’ve seen in many recent films such as Interstellar, Passengers and Alien: Covenant. Unfortunately, though, the screenplay is not equipped to fully tap into these themes, or to say anything of interest with regards to the questions it attempts to ask in order for the movie to stand out. This is largely due to an aimless plot that feels more like the writers were making it up as they went along than constructing it to serve a bigger picture; side characters and subplots come and go at will, and key developments occur sporadically as if someone has their finger on the skip button.
The feature’s dull narrative isn’t aided either by its cast, who appear to be just as uninterested in the production as the scriptwriters were. Sam Worthington (Avatar), who plays Rick Janssen, one of the volunteers in the experiment, gives an underwhelming portrayal of a man going through a life-altering procedure. His character might as well have been going for a routine check-up with the response he gives. Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) – Rick’s wife Abigail – is given more to do than her co-star, but she is still unable to produce a convincing performance. Both actors have already proven themselves to be talented, so it’s disappointing to see how little effort they’ve put in here.
The direction of the film, too, is uninteresting. Shots often feel flat and lack depth, or are simply too dark. There is an intriguing idea at the heart of The Titan, but with an underwhelming screenplay and direction, none of this potential is able to surface. This is one journey you don’t want to take.
The Titan is released in select cinemas on 13th April 2018.
Watch the trailer for The Titan here: