Netflix has decided to go hardcore with 2017. They are releasing movies every week. New shows. A fucking comedy special every week. New content all the time, and new fodder for me to review with relative ease.
Had I ever seen a poster or trailer or anything for The Discovery? Fuck no. But it is new, has people I like in it, and was available for me to watch while laying down in my bed. Thank you technology.
As long as they keep churning out original content that will interest me, I will keep on reviewing them. Most recently I checked out I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and I am sure I missed at least 2-3 other films since then.
Netflix is not paying me for this introduction.
But they did threaten to steal my brain energies if I don’t visit them daily.
Set in the not so distant future, in this world, science has made a major discovery. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) has discovered with near certainty with science and shit that there IS an afterlife. He didn’t figure out what kind of afterlife, but that some part of the conscious moves on to another plane. It could be terrible, it could be amazing, it could be boring as fuck. No one knows, but we do now know that SOMETHING is out there.
And unfortunately that news has hit the world hard, and suicide rates over the last year have skyrocketed. Now that people know they will go somewhere, they are more likely to end it all and take the quick release. The world is a sadder place, more funerals and so much shit.
Will (Jason Segel) is on a ferry to his home, where he meets Isla (Rooney Mara). They have their different opinions on what the research means, but it is really all that anyone talks about now. Turns out Will is the son of the scientist, and he doesn’t like what it has done and does’t trust it. Isla is just a woman about to commit suicide, who he saves.
The doctor is about to announce a new discovery though. One that adds on to his previous discovery, hopefully able to answer specifically where the subconscious goes.
Also starring Jesse Plemons and Riley Keough.
The beach almost has enough screen time to be a cast member as well.
The Discovery was a slower film, but one with a great concept. Add in some high tier actors, and you got a low budget film with quite a story to tell. An exciting story, but still one that doesn’t push the afterlife or religion certainty in your face.
Segel and Mara are strong in this film. Segel continues to give very strong dramatic performances when you never expect it, like The End of the Tour and Jeff, Who Lives At Home. Mara is rarely ever off of her dramatic game, so that comes to no surprise here either. Redford doesn’t have as much to work with, but does okay in his role.
The middle is long and drawn out, and it takes awhile to figure out just where the story is going. And because of that, the ending feels a bit rushed. Which is a shame, because the ending reveals are quite wonderful. The ideas presented are definitely science fiction in nature, but an exciting idea and one that doesn’t get explored enough in a serious tone.
I personally really enjoyed the film, despite its faults. I hope it leads to more serious sci-fi films on Netflix. And no, it is nowhere close to being as good as Arrival.
3 out of 4.