In Theaters

Voyagers - 4K UHD Review

Voyagers

With nothing more than the well-being of our fellow man at stake, can humans be trusted to do the right thing to ensure the proliferation of the species? Or are we genetically programmed to revert to primitive nature?

"there’s enough good stuff going on... to make it a fun watch"


These, and others, are the questions and themes explored in the new Neil Burger science fiction thriller called Voyagers, which plays out like an interstellar version of Lord of the Flies. While bearing strong influences from 2001: A Space Odyssey and George Lucas’ THX-1138, Voyagers isn’t quite as brainy as either of those films, and certainly isn’t original enough to be called smart. However there’s enough good stuff going on – including an intriguing premise, a stellar cast, and phenomenally well-crafted set pieces – to make it a fun watch.

The film opens with a microscope shot of a scientist manually implanting a sperm into an ovum. We quickly learn that Earth is dying and, via an extensive breeding program, scientists on Earth are preparing a group of genetically engineered youths for a journey to a far away planet where it is believed human life will be sustainable. The task for these voyagers is to ensure the ship reaches its destination and to see that human life carries on once there.

There will be a couple of challenges along the way, however. One is that the journey to the new planet will take a staggering 86 years, which means that most of the ship’s inhabitants won’t live to see the end of their journey. Those in control of the ship will likely be parents or grandparents of the eventual colonizers.Voyagers

Another obstacle to overcome will be the negative effects of raging hormones amongst the crew of young teens. The solution: a blue drink – called “the blue” – disguised as a vitamin supplement that is actually a drug to diminish urges and reduce pleasure. Naturally, once the blue’s real purpose is discovered by two crew members, Christopher (Tye Sheridan, Ready Player One) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead, Dunkirk), everyone refuses to take the drink causing a rebellion of sorts as impulses and hormones begin to take over. It is left up to the elder statesman and only person over 30 on the ship, Richard (Colin Farrell), to explain the drink’s purpose and to keep order about the ship.

You can probably figure out where things go from there. The crew will divide into two factions, with the good group following the altruistic Chris, who manages to reconcile his emotions with ambitions of keeping the mission on track, and another that will follow bad guy Zac who can’t control his newfound pleasure centers and always opts for instant gratification, whether it’s food or sex. The object of Zac’s one-sided advances is Chief Medical Officer Sela (Lily-Rose Depp, The King), who, despite initially struggling with her newfound emotions, discovers a transformative inner strength. With all the kids now off their meds, they are consumed by fear, lust and the insatiable hunger for power. Unless a solution to the chaos is found, the entire mission is in jeopardy.

There’s really nothing original here, and most of his messages are a bit too on the nose to be called clever, but with Voyagers, Neil Burger has created a suspenseful and visually striking world that really leans in and explores some interesting characters and asks lots of questions about human nature, morality, and what it means to be human. We may not like the answers he provides, but it’s fun to watch the scenario play out in this well-acted, well-constructed young adult speculative fiction piece

3/5 stars

 

Voyagers

4K Details

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- June 15, 2021
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region free; blu-ray locked to Gegion A

Lionsgate Home Entertainment present Voyagers in a stellar 4K UHD blu-ray 2-disc combo pack. The release features a 2160p Ultra high definition HDR copy of the film on disc 1 along with a handful of bonus materials, while disc 2 contains a 1080p blu-ray copy of the film with special features. Both versions feature an English 5.1 Dolby True HD audio track (sorry, no Atmos), a Spanish 5.1 Dolby audio track, along with English and Spanish subtitles. Overall, the release is a solid one that fans of the film should be happy to add to their collection.

Video

Lionsgate have done a great job with the video transfer with little to no flaws or hiccups. Despite virtually all of the action taking place inside a spaceship, it is a surprisingly brightly lit affair with a color palette that leans to the blue side of the spectrum. Bright white walls and hallways are the predominant feature of the practical set, so this isn't a film that's going to blow you away with a wildly vivid color palette. The blacks of outer space and the dimly lit recesses of the ship are clean and consistently crisp void of articfacting.

Audio

Was quite surprised we weren't offered a Dolby Atmos track with this one (what better atmosphere than the confines of a sterile space ship to introduce the vertical sound dome?), but the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD (for both he 4K UHD and blu-ray disc) works the room appropriately with a fully-immersive experience, but is nothing to write home about. This is a talky affair and dialogue is always perfectly audible while staying mostly in the center channel.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

A nice little package of bonus features, including a cast and crew interview, a brief piece on the physical requirements of the shoot, a behind the scenes short with Director of Photography Enrique Chediak, and a brief tour of the space ship round out this worthy package that should please all fans of the film

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite 4K UHD Grade

3.5/5 stars

 

Film Details

Voyagers

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, some strong sexuality, bloody images, a sexual assault and brief strong language.
Runtime:
108 mins
Director
: Neil Burger
Writer:
Neil Burger
Cast:
Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp
Genre
: Science Fiction | Young Adult
Tagline:
What does it feel like.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site: https://voyagers.movie/
Release Date:
April 9, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 15, 2021
Synopsis: A crew of astronauts on a multi-generational mission descend into paranoia and madness, not knowing what is real or not.

Art

Voyagers

 

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