The Titan (film)
|Directed by||Lennart Ruff|
|Screenplay by||Max Hurwitz|
|Story by||Arash Amel|
|Music by||Fil Eisler|
|Edited by||Ann-Carolin Biesenbach|
The Titan is a 2018 American science fiction thriller film directed by Lennart Ruff and starring Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling and Tom Wilkinson. The screenplay was written by Max Hurwitz, with the story by Arash Amel. The film is an international co-production between the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Spain. It was released for some countries by Netflix on March 30, 2018. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2018 by Signature Entertainment, and direct to video in Germany on May 8, 2018 by EuroVideo.
Rick Janssen, a fighter pilot, volunteers to be a part of an experiment on 14 test subjects that forces human bodies to adapt to the super-cold methane liquids and the ultra-low oxygen atmosphere of Titan. He is joined by his wife Abigail, a medical researcher, and their son Lucas, at the Titan I research area.
The initial results are promising. Rick becomes able to swim at incredible speeds and stay underwater for 40 minutes. Rick's training becomes increasingly intense as he and the others adapt increasingly Titan-like environments.
Rick finds that some of his hair is falling out, and one of the team members starts convulsing and dies. Abigail notices the blood veins of all the test subjects becoming darker. Volunteer Zane has a mental breakdown and hits his wife, Rayenne.
Rick takes a break by sitting at the bottom of their swimming pool, where large amounts of his skin shed off. Abigail’s concern grows, and she begins experimentation on a sample of his blood, finding that it is indeed becoming darker.
Rick undergoes corneal surgery to accommodate the low light on Titan. When he later has complications, Abigail confronts Collingwood about Rick's changes, but he divulges nothing.
Zane suffers another mental breakdown and throws Rayenne through a window, killing her instantly. He is shot dead by military police.
While visiting Rick in the medical facility, Abigail steals his key card and sneaks into Collingwood's office. She finds reports of autopsies of the numerous deceased test subjects, discovering that they were having their DNA infused with animal DNA, attempting to create the next human species, Homo Titaniens.
During a meeting with NASA, Collingwood is chastised for doing forced evolutionary experimentation without proper evidence nor ethical reasons, and is threatened with having his operation shut down. Abigail confronts him on the same issue, and he admits to her and Rick that he does not actually know what the surviving subjects will eventually become.
Rick willingly undergoes a major surgery to adapt to his new senses and become fully ready for Titan. He and Tally, the only other surviving test subject, complete their training and finishing their transformations into Homo Titaniens.
Abigail is horrified when the significantly transformed Rick loses the ability to talk, now communicating in a low frequency that is undetectable by normal human ears.
Tally kills her husband and goes to Rick at his home. Abigail and Lucas hide while military police surround Tally and Rick. Tally kills a few before she is killed, then Rick easily kills many more. When Abigail and Lucas confront him, Rick flees as he realizes he has become a monster.
The military hunt for Rick, but it is Abigail who finds him on a hill they often jogged to. The military arrives and knocks them out. Abigail wakes to a Rick in critical condition due to him being incompatible with Earth's atmosphere. Abigail is forced to give him a chemical solution that acts similar to a lobotomy, erasing all of his memories – but she gives him a harmless saline solution, allowing him to escape.
Rick begins killing soldiers as Abigail and Lucas flee with Dr. Freya, an assistant to Collingwood who disagrees with his methods. They find a heavily wounded Rick, and give him first aid until they are surrounded by Collingwood and his men. Collingwood orders them to kill the three humans, but the colonel leading the soldiers refuses and arrests Collingwood.
Abigail and Dr. Freya become researchers at the Titan II facility, using more ethical methods than Collingwood had. Rick is shown exploring Titan, flying under his own power over a methane lake.
- Sam Worthington as Lt. Rick Janssen, Lucas’ father and Abigail’s husband
- Taylor Schilling as Dr. Abigail Janssen, Lucas’ mother and Rick’s wife
- Tom Wilkinson as Professor Martin Collingwood
- Agyness Deyn as Dr. Freya Upton
- Nathalie Emmanuel as W.D. Tally Rutherford
- Diego Boneta as Dr. Iker Hernandez
- Corey Johnson as Colonel Jim Petersen
- Aleksandar Jovanovic as Sergeant Johan Werner
- Noah Jupe as Lucas Janssen, Abigail and Rick’s son
In August 2015, Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson and Sofia Boutella signed on to star in the film to be directed by Lennart Ruff. Voltage Pictures would handle international rights sales while CAA would handle domestic sales. Producer Arash Amel spoke of his enthusiasm for the project:
|“||The Titan is, at its core, a love story that is set in the pioneering edge of space exploration, a world of fear and wonder. In Brian [Kavanaugh-Jones] and Ben [Pugh], I’ve been lucky enough to find smart, dedicated producing partners to embark on this adventure with, and we now find ourselves surrounded by a highly talented group of artists led by Ruth Wilson and Sam Worthington, under the direction of the incredible Lennart Ruff. I’m very excited that this team will be bringing this passion project to the screen, and to continue the relationship with Automatik, 42, and Motion Picture Capital.||”|
In October 2015, Tom Wilkinson joined the cast with Voltage Pictures planning to sell international rights to the film at the 2016 American Film Market. In December 2015, Taylor Schilling signed on to replace Wilson, who, alongside Boutella, dropped out of the film. In January 2016, Diego Boneta, Aleksander Jovanovic and Agyness Deyn joined the cast. In February 2016, at AFM, Voltage Pictures managed to sell international distribution rights in multiple countries. However, in February 2018, it was reported that Netflix had picked up worldwide distribution rights to the film. The film has also been released on Blu-ray in several European countries including the United Kingdom.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 16%, based on 25 reviews, and an average rating of 3.8/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 33 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Jake Nevins from The Guardian gave the film only one out of five stars, criticizing its script and Worthington's performance:
|“||A more interesting film might focus on how one actually goes about colonizing a moon, instead of ducking its premise for more hackneyed government corruption fodder. A more interesting film might also not star Sam Worthington, who was on the money when he offered this assessment of his performance in Clash of the Titans: 'I think I can act (expletive deleted) better, to be honest.' I hope he’s right, but in view of The Titan, I'm hedging my bets.||”|
Matt Fowler from IGN gave the film 5 out of 10:
|“||The Titan, from writer Max Hurwitz and director Lennart Ruff, isn't a bad film, it just never pops. And it spends the bulk of its body focusing on the wrong story. By the time the tale ends, you feel like you've just finally reached something interesting because the hour and a half leading you there contained a ton of filler and unnecessary fat.||”|
David Ehrlich from IndieWire also gave the film a negative review:
|“||The Titan hedges its bets until we lose track of whose story this really is, the film so hesitant in its telling that we hardly even notice how Abigail is replacing Rick at the center of it all. Boasting the intellectual curiosity of Annihilation but precious little of Alex Garland's resolve, Ruff just runs out the clock until it's time for the third act’s inevitable descent into body horror (the creature work is eerie, even if the prosthetics summon memories of Bright without the courtesy of a trigger warning). His debut was only sold to Netflix after it was in the can, but this slick placebo dose of cerebral science-fiction is undeniably well-suited to the streaming platform, where it can be hard to classify what you’re watching, or know what it means for the future.||”|
Dan Jackson from the Thrillist, wrote:
|“||...the debut feature from director Lennart Ruff is an 'elevated' science-fiction tale set in a dystopian 2048 version of Earth ravaged by population growth, environmental decay, and constant war. It's a drab, rudderless movie that calls on its star to splice some life into the reanimated DNA of more thoughtful, original fare like The Fly or Annihilation. Sadly, Worthington isn't up to the task and the experiment eventually goes haywire.||”|
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- Jaafar, Ali (28 October 2015). "Tom Wilkinson Joining Cast Of 'The Titan'- AFM". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- Jaafar, Ali (16 December 2015). "Taylor Schilling To Star In 'The Titan' Opposite Sam Worthington". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Jaafar, Ali (13 January 2016). "Diego Boneta, Aleksander Jovanovic & Agyness Deyn Join 'The Titan'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
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- "The Titan Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Nevins, Jake (29 March 2018). "The Titan review – unexciting Netflix sci-fi squanders its premise". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Fowler, Matt (29 March 2018). "Netflix's The Titan Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Ehrlich, David (30 March 2018). "'The Titan' Review: Sam Worthington Tries to Live on Saturn in Weak Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Jackson, Dan (30 March 2018). "Netflix's New Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Titan' is Like an Unsexy Version of 'The Fly'". Thrillist. Group Nine Media. Retrieved 31 March 2018.