Voyagers is exciting and well-constructed sci-fi, fueled by testosterone, hive mind, and toxic masculinity. Both lead male performances from Ready Player One’s Tye Sheridan and Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead exemplify two young actors at the top of their game. Their polar opposite characters make for a great yin/yang balance to Voyagers. Lily Rose-Depp may first appear to be a mere sex object for the horny boys, but she becomes essential to the narrative. Writer/director Neil Burger crafts a visually arresting suspense film wrapped in a familiar cinematic blanket.
Set in 2063, a new habitable planet supporting life has been discovered. Though this planet will ensure the survival of the species, it comes with one big caveat: the multi-generational journey will take about 90 years. Richard (Colin Farrell) is a scientist who decides to take the long journey with 30 kids. Flashing forward several years, one of the young adults, curious Christopher (Tye Sheridan), discovers the strange blue liquid the recruits inject each day contain a toxin suppressing their sexuality. With this secret out of the box, the mission begins to unravel in chaotic succession.
With concentrated levels of testosterone coursing through their bodies, both Christopher and uncontrollable hothead Zac (Fionn Whitehead) drive the tension and stakes. Two opposing viewpoints sees each actor embracing their strengths. Fionn channels the angry rage of his character in Don’t Tell a Soul, while Tye Sheridan trods familiar leading man beats he has perfected since Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Lily Rose-Depp, who I had previously seen in Yoga Hosers and Tusk, plays Sela–she is slightly underdeveloped, but still has stand-out moments. The film is Lords of the Flies in space, mixed with a hint of 2016’s Passengers. Voyagers comes to theaters on Friday, April 9th.