Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Prospect (2018)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Prospect (2018)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Depth of Field, Ground Control, BRON Studios, Shep Films, Culture Publishers, Gunpowder & Sky, Capelight Pictures, Eagle Pictures, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, KinoVista, Signature Entertainment, Youplanet Pictures
Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Writer:  Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Actors: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal
Blurb from IMDb: A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They've secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon's toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest's other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father's greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.

Selina’s Point of View:
Prospect had a slow start. I was afraid it was going to wind up a bit on the boring side, but it did eventually pick up. As it played on, it managed to capture my interest in a way that other drama-heavy science fictions don’t.
The idea behind Prospect wasn’t overly original, but it was woven with a sense of intensity that’s rarely seen. Most films would cut it with some bright and fast action, or quippy comedy, but that doesn’t happen here. Instead, it stays intense throughout, not offering any real relief from the question of whether the main characters will live or die.
A lot of the success of Prospect has to be credited toward the actors.
Jay Duplass (The Mindy Project, The Oath, Horse Girl) portrays his obnoxiously greedy prospector very well and cuts a path to make Sophie Thatcher’s (Chicago Med, When the Streetlights Go On, Yellowjackets) character even easier to root for. On her own, Thatcher brings her character to life in an almost hypnotizing way. Even when she’s not entirely likable, you still don’t want to see her come to any harm.

Pedro Pascal (Narcos, Triple Frontier, We Can Be Heroes) was just as worth the watch as one would expect. He played his gritty, strangely relatable, part with the charismatic appeal he’s known for. Even when he’s doing despicable things, he still attracts attention like a protagonist would.
The entire film seems very low-fi, but still gorgeous in a grimy kind of way. If I were to make a comparison, it’d be to Snowpiercer (2013). Not in content of the setting, but in the way it feels. Everything is perfectly placed to express the feel of species isolation. It’s awe-inspiringly beautiful, but in a dirty – somewhat apocalyptic – way.
Prospect was a good film, a little predictable at times, but worth the watch.
The writer/directors, Christopher Caldwell (Redemption, Man, In the Pines, Taste) and Zeek Earl (Flirting's for Dummies, In the Pines, Taste), did an amazing job. I would never have pegged this as a full-length feature film debut for anyone involved. I think it bodes extremely well for what their futures hold. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m just going to fire right out of the gate here and say that I was super impressed with Prospect.
There were more layers and nuance to this story than I anticipated.
I was a bit shocked to learn that this was the feature-length film debut for both writer/directors Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl. They brought together an interesting and story-driven film that didn’t rely on anything super flashy while still providing good proverbial bang for the buck. Their writing delivered a relatable story where – even though this movie takes place on a faraway moon – the characters couldn’t escape their own human nature.

I should take a minute to appreciate how Prospect utilized primarily practical effects. From the drop-pod to the forested alien moonscape and costumes – the production team provided us with rich detail and depth of setting. They didn’t need a huge amount of bells and whistles to sell this story.
While I don’t want to discount the contributions of Jay Duplass, or the supporting cast; the dynamic between Pedro Pascal and Sophie Thatcher was everything. I am very thankful that this script caught Pascal’s attention. It would be hard to imagine someone else in his shoes for this production.
If you’re a fan of story-driven sci-fi, as I am, Prospect is definitely a good choice. If you’re looking for something flashier with more CGI effects and the like, you might not come away as happy. On the other hand, you could be pleasantly surprised!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 71%
Metascore – 68%
Metacritic User Score – 6.9
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Movie Trailer:

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