This movie harkens back to early 20th century Sci Fi, when space exploration was thrilling and you didn't know where the trip was going to take you.
Europa report is basically the de-briefing of Europa Ventures, Europa One mission by the CEO and other ground staff based on the archived transmissions sent during the mission.
This movie's relevancy is perfect with all the news from NASA's Curiosity rover and the possibility that there is ice below the surface of Mars and the kooky mars one non profit organization.
All that is fascinating to me but lets not forget one thing.....
In Space NO ONE can hear you scream!
Outer Space is a terrifying place!
And Europa report reminds us of that in an intelligent way. Zeno's are cool and naughty synthetic humans that love to touch stuff have their place but in my opinion the best Sci Fi is the stories that are just out there on the horizon...completely believable that it could happen in the near future....one of my top 5 favorite Sci Fi movies was 1997's Gattaca because although it dealt with a possible future, nothing seemed implausible and many concepts in the film, to some extent, are a reality today!
That's what I enjoyed about Europa Report, we may not be sending manned missions to the moons of Jupiter in my lifetime but eventually we will.
And whether it was the Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria in search of the "New World" or the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, shit can get real, real quick. This is perfectly shown in Europa Report when James (Sharlto Copeley) Andrei (Michael Nyqvist) go out on a EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) to repair a damaged comm system outside the ship. That scene was extremely reminiscent to a scene in 2007's Sunshine another sci fi movie I really enjoyed.
I enjoyed last years Prometheus but in retrospect the part that lingers with me the most was how fucking unscientific and utterly ridiculous the science team was in the movie, now when you watch Europa Report you will see how scientist's with true passion for their work would behave!
Europa Report feels authentic and genuine and shows the horrors of space in a true believable fashion, it builds up the tension to the very end and then gives us the answer for the reason for Europa One's Mission.