(US/UK/Spain/Germany - 2018)
Directed by Lennart Ruff. Written by Max Hurwitz. Cast: Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson, Agyness Deyn, Nathalie Emmanuel, Noah Jupe, Corey Johnson, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Diego Boneta, Aaron Heffernan, Alex Lanipecun, Naomi Battrick, Steven Cree, Nathalie Poza, Francesc Garrido, Kyle Soller. (Unrated, 97 mins)
It's another week and another dud Netflix acquisition with the sci-fi/horror outing THE TITAN, a potentially interesting sort-of reverse MARTIAN with hints of the underrated and sort-of forgotten SPLICE. It looks great and benefits from some beautiful Spain and Canary Islands location work, but its intriguing concepts are rendered moot by lax execution and a typically bland performance from AVATAR's Sam Worthington, who they're apparently still trying to make a thing. Completed in 2016, THE TITAN is set in a post-apocalyptic 2048 where the west coast is uninhabitable due to nuclear fallout and huge sections of the US and much of the world are turning into overpopulated, war-ravaged hellholes. As NASA scientist Dr. Martin Collingwood (Tom Wilkinson) explains, "Time is running out and we've outgrown our world." His plan? Populate Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Its atmosphere is largely methane and nitrogen and thus impossible for humans to live, but Collingwood's multi-billion project involves using US soldiers in an experimental program to alter their DNA and biological structure to adapt to Titan's atmosphere, explaining that "Humans must adapt rather than reshape planets in our image." One test subject is Air Force Lt. Rick Janssen (Worthington), who moves his family--doctor wife Abi (Taylor Schilling of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) and young son Lucas (Noah Jupe)--to a top-secret NATO base on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean. Collingwood promises Rick and the other test subjects that they'll be enhanced, superior versions of themselves. "You'll be you, but better." Clearly, they've never seen a body-horror movie with a deranged scientist before.