As well-intentioned and as decently acted as it is, Lennart Ruff’s low budget Sci-fi feature The Titan, which deals with profoundly noble ideas surrounding ethics in science, never quite manages to fully convince, and is ultimately let down by its inability to measure up to the film’s hugely ambitious premise.
The year is 2049 and planet earth is rapidly becoming uninhabitable after years of conflicts, famine and ecological disasters. As the future of mankind hangs in the balance, scientists and global governments must find a long-term solution to stop humanity from becoming extinct. When he is offered the chance to take part in a new scientific experiment led by controversial scientist Prof. Martin Collingwood (played brilliantly by Tom Willkinson), Air force pilot Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington) jumps at the opportunity to become a volunteer, first out of a sense of duty for the planet and to help protect the future of his wife Abigail (Taylor Schilling) and their only son Lucas (Noah Jupe).
Alongside an international team of equality qualified volunteers, Rick is put through a series of rigorous exercises and highly dubious scientific experiments where he is pumped with DNA altering drugs in the hope of creating a stronger and more agile version of himself in order to sustain life on Saturn’s moon Titan, deemed to be the closest habitable place in our solar system. Things start to go catastrophically wrong when the experiment proves to be more dangerous than first thought, resulting in strange and abnormal behaviour from its subjects.
Putting a modern twist on the Frankenstein story, director Lennart Ruff does his best with a script which pushes the boundaries of believability beyond what could be considered acceptable from a film which is set in a very near future. Whilst offering up a vital commentary on ethics in science and ecology, The Titan sadly fails to live up to the story it wants to tell, and ultimately ends sounding a little too nonsensical for it to be taken seriously.
Worthington puts in a commendably nuanced turn as Rick, while British actress Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) is more than just passable in the role of competitive W.O. Tally Rutherford, a fellow experiment subject whom Rick finds himself unwittingly and involuntarily attached to.
Visually, the film is at its best in its depiction of beautiful unspoilt landscapes and sparse living spaces, but on the whole, the film never quite manages to make the point it set out to, but could still be considered worthy of anyone’s attention providing they’re willing to forgive its slightly facile philosophical outlook and enjoy the ride regardless. Ambitious, but deeply flawed.
The Titan is in cinemas from Friday 13th of March