Two thoughts come to mind the minute “Voyagers” begins: Why are these young people so impossibly good looking and why are they so incredibly quiet?
Quickly, we learn, they’re part of an experiment to find a new place to live. Since Earth has heated up, travelers need to get to a planet that can support life as we know it. The trip, however, will take 86 years – which means everyone onboard won’t be enjoying a welcome romp in the ocean.
To keep the crew from realizing the worst, they’re given a pill – The Blue – that suppresses emotions and keeps them in line. While they create babies in test tubes, no one questions the work.
Then, two friends, Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead) learn the power of The Blue and decide to go without it. Soon, they realize they can get mad, get happy, get sad.
That prompts plenty of action, but also a Sharks vs. Jets mentality that pits friend against friend.
In no time at all, this “Lord of the Flies” in space is reduced to races around sterile hallways.
Because the “adult in charge” (nicely played by a resigned Colin Farrell) isn’t around, it’s summer camp without counselors. But how do you warm to young rebels when they never exhibited any personality before the “change”?
Written and directed by Neil Burger, “Voyagers” looks like a typical space film. It just lacks substance. Sheridan shows some intelligence; Whitehead goes overboard. And that’s essentially what this devolves to – catch and release. When left to their own devices, the travelers decide to choose their leader. It doesn’t take an insurrection to let you know how this is going to go: More fighting, more screaming, more puzzled looks. Lily-Rose Depp plays the woman caught between the two friends. She tries to take the high road but, soon, there’s chaos.
Considering it stars hot young actors, “Voyagers” doesn’t have a lot of hot action. It’s like working at an Amazon fulfillment center.
A few more traumas before the big showdown are necessarily, particularly since they would let you know who deserves a leadership role. As is, “Voyagers” is a free-for-all, devoid of succession plans that could have put a lot of nonsense out of reach and solved problems a free and fair election doesn’t.