Movie Review: The Last Push / Cert: TBC / Director: Eric Hayden / Screenplay: Eric Hayden / Starring: Khary Payton, Lance Henriksen, Brian Baumgartner / Release Date: TBC
Space exploration goes wrong in this low budget first time feature from Director Eric Hayden. Billionaire, Walter Moffit (Lance Henrickson) funds a mission to explore Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. The two man crew wake up from stasis just as their chamber is exploding and only Michael Forrest (Khary Payton) survives.
Michael is restricted to a small living area, which is constructed extremely well and the logistics of exactly how an astronaut would survive in a habitation chamber have been thought through; including the use of what can only be described as a “poo paste” for nutritional needs. Contact with base is kept up via satellite video links – and the conversations between Michael and his colleague Bob Jones (Brian Baumgartner or Kevin from The Office: An American Workplace) feel believable as they play off each other well. Lance Henrickson is basically a talking head and his role could have been played by anyone, but it’s good to see he wants to support sci-fi filmmakers.
The success of the film relies on the strength of Khary Payton’s acting and he does a fine job, but his performance unfortunately does not carry the film. With its comparisons to Moon, where Sam Rockwell plays an astronaut confined to a solitary existence, it just doesn’t reach anywhere near the same level. Humour is lacking for the most part and the idea isn’t original enough to praise for creativity. Though the films are extremely different, when the focus is on one man for the majority of the film something special is needed to lift it above other films about being stranded in space.
There are some nice nods to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with the reason for the mission based on the fact that whales have been located on Europa, and the idea of what home means to different people is investigated nicely. Director, Hayden, delivers some interesting moments and musings on human motivation, space exploration and one man’s psychological excursion but if you are a fan of this type of sci-fi you may have seen it all before.
Expected: 6 out of 10