After living her life to date in a spaceship which left Earth 64 years ago Viola (Daisy Ridley) finds herself plummeting toward the surface of a new planet which looks like Quebec (where it was filmed) and has a population of folks that come from a typical western.
The obvious curiosity which Viola would be expected to experience is quickly dashed as she finds herself in a community filled with just men. Along with that the men, with a few exceptions express their emotions and thoughts through clouds of color which sound out what is on their minds. The special effect of that process is initially interesting, but it quickly becomes irritating with the exception of the memory of a small dog.
The elimination of all women leaving an agrarian location filled with guns and lead by the force and power of one who appears to be the leader and tends to push everyone around. Just like the bully who appears in the old westerns that filled the American screens in the 40’s and 50’s.
One young guy, Todd (Tom Holland) befriends her and as we see his memory floating from his head, of his mother we understand why.
While the action and the scenery are enjoyable to watch, we wonder about the 64 year trip on which Viola was born. She only gives one hint when she eats an apple and notes it’s the first non created food she has ever eaten.
The two young folks head away from the world of western men to save her from being destroyed as the other women were and next come about another settlement in which women and kids live with their men. It tends to look like an early American village.
Later we learn that other travelers from Earth have landed on this new planet and began the work of settling on the new world. Much of the action in the last quarter of the film takes place around a giant space vehicle and the initial construction of a civilization that obviously came from earlier trips from Earth.
So much of what could be an interesting study is just allowed to be fact. What about that 64 year trip, her version of what life is like on a space vehicle for all of her years. Are the settlers including the male westerners part of the past landings or are they indigenous to the planet?
The action of the chase holds our attention and Ridley and Holland pair off quite well. The power and problem of his thoughts at times bring a little comedy when his mind begins to think of her in an amorous fashion and she can hear and see what he is thinking.
The subject matter has greater possibilities that we see in Director Doug Liman’s vision, at the same time what we do see brings a great deal of satisfaction even when leaving us with a number of questions rather that a satisfactory conclusion.