Review | Prospect (2018)

Review | Prospect (2018)

A father and daughter set out to prospect a distant planet, but it won’t go as planned.

My wife has a fancy for two famous men. One of them is Pedro Pascal, and she will watch anything that he makes an appearance in. Obviously, that includes The Mandalorian and Narcos.

This has led us to some lesser well-known films such as Bloodsucking Bastards (or Bloodsucking Bosses as it’s known in the UK for its DVD packaging). This is a film that does for vampires what Shaun of the Dead did for Zombies.

One of Pedro’s lesser-known film is a low budget science fiction tale from 2018 simply entitled Prospect.

The film originally started out as a fifteen-minute short film released in 2014 which can still be watched via Vimeo.

Prospect is a coming-of-age tale of a young girl, Cee, and her father, Damon, who are travelling to a remote planet in order to harvest a large collection of organically grown gems as part of a deal made with a group of mercenaries.

However, as you’d might expect, this doesn’t go to plan. The ship that has bought them to this planet is very much like an interstellar bus route. It will slingshot around the planet to make its return journey. The “bus route” has been cancelled and will not be making this journey again. If they’re not back on board by the time it has circumnavigated the planet, there is no way home.

Already under pressure, they make their way down to the planet but the drop pod malfunctions, and they land way off course for their job.

Finally, to make matters worse, just after they start making their way through the dense vegetation to the original drop point, they are intercepted by two fellow travellers.

Cee (Sophia Thatcher) and her father, Damon (Jay Duplass) on the distant alien world.

Don’t worry, this is just the beginning of Cee and Damon’s story and there is still a lot more to come and I haven’t revealed any big spoilers.

Sophie Thatcher is the young actress playing Cee, and it’s a great performance, especially as this is really her film.

Pedro Pascal is always likeable and very watchable and that doesn’t change here in which he plays one of the travellers already on the planet.

This film reminds me of many of the science fiction films of the late 1970s and 80s. Its beautifully shot and the design, despite the low budget, is superb.

In many respects, it reminds me of Alien (1979). This is set in the distant future, but the equipment is aged, very used and looks like it is on its last legs. It wouldn’t look out of place if it was set in the same universe.

The feeling of being alone on a distant planet reminded me of Silent Running (1972) along with its similar design in places. Finally, although not exactly the same, the story reminded me a lot of Enemy Mine (1985). A film where the hero and the perceived enemy have to work together in order to survive.

Despite the praise for its technical achievements and acting, I didn’t quite enjoy the film’s story to the same level. The film only has a short run time of just over an hour and a half but in a few spots, it did feel like it was dragging a bit. Prospect has a fairly slow pace, so don’t sit down expecting a science fiction action story.

I find my thoughts hard to describe with Prospect. It’s a decent enough film with a good story and the aforementioned praise for the acting and visuals but for me, it’s a one-time viewing. I don’t feel the desire to watch this again or purchase it for my collection.

Four out of Five

An interesting and solid film that’s worth watching at least once.


John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.