Director: Lennart Ruff
Cast: Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson
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The year is 2048. The Earth is dying. Humanity has one chance for survival: finding a new home. And so a team of scientists do the only logical thing. No, they don’t pull a Lost in Space and send out a fleet of families to colonise another world: they start experimenting on a bunch of people and hope to turn them into… well, something else entirely.
Sam Worthington plays Rick, the lucky (or not so lucky) Air Force pilot chosen to participate in this super-human exercise, and it comes as absolutely no surprise that things goes disastrously wrong. The cast, though, have the tricky job of pretending that everything is an unforeseen shock, something that they struggle to do, as the script becomes more and more predictable.
The movie is a decidedly low-fi sci-fi, with more interest in human drama than blasting off into space (Rick’s ultimate destination is the titular moon of Saturn). While that can result in such stunning genre gems as Another Earth, The Titan fails to deliver on its giant ideas, allowing them to fizzle out rather than build them up to dizzying heights. Tom Wilkinson is enjoying himself as the despicable brainiac masterminding his own version of evolution, but Worthington is giving surprisingly little opportunity to really dive deep into his water-loving mutant; his dialogue is minimal and a large part of his screentime sees him wrapped in bandages.
It falls, then, to Taylor Schilling to sell the story as Rick’s wife, and she does a commendable job of bringing emotional angst to her husband’s transformation. But an illogical final act undoes her work, and director Lennart Ruff never quite dials up the body horror enough to make an impact. There’s intrigue aplenty, even in such a familiar wheelhouse, and an effective of location and blue lighting to disguise the low budget, but the film ultimately builds to a disappointing pay-off. There’s potential for a muscular, brooding, physical piece of cinema here, but this is one Titan that no one will remember.
The Titan is available on Netflix UK, as part of £7.99 monthly subscription.
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