Film Review – The Discovery (2017)

Title – The Discovery (2017)

Director – Charlie McDowell (The One I Love)

Cast – Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough

Plot – When scientist Thomas Harber (Redford) announces his discovery of an afterlife, the world as we know it changes and suicide becomes the normality. Caught up in this time, reserved Will (Segel) and the internally hurting Isla (Mara) find a connection together as future discoveries look set to change their lives forever.

“Death used to be something we just had to live with, and now it’s a convenient way to escape pain”

Review by Eddie on 10/04/2017

Talk about a wasted opportunity.

A fine cast led by the underrated Jason Segal (still doing his best to break out from his How I Met Your Mother persona and delivering a so-so turn when you look back at his role in End of the Tour) and backed up by Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and one of the finest supporting players going around Jason Plemon’s isn’t enough to save Charlie McDowell’s Netflix original Sci-Fi/Drama The Discovery from a disappointing result and ending its runtime as one of the most frustratingly forgettable films in many a moon.

The core idea behind The Discovery, that Redford’s scientist Thomas Harber has discovered evidence of a confirmed afterlife, leading to a world in which the suicide rates have ramped up to epidemic levels with Harber then working on a secret project that looks to record this afterlife for those alive to witness, is a fantastic one and an idea that strikes up many a various conversation point but McDowell’s film which ends up being more of an unbelievable romance between Segal’s charisma free Will and Mara’s mumbling and emo Isla, feels unable to make the most of its idea.

Perhaps hampered by budget restraint’s (although this hardly seems to be a problem for Netflix originals these days) or perhaps just a lack of overall vision, The Discovery showcases glimmers of what could be in stall for us, whether it’s the oft mentioned suicides, the cult like following Harber has garnered thanks to his work or Will’s and Isla’s investigation into a possible glimpse of the afterlife they have recorded but all these intriguing elements are quickly swept under the rug and while the film’s final reveal makes the journey feel more rewarding than it actually is, you can’t help but escape the feeling The Discovery has short-changed its viewers with a mediocre effort of a far more interesting story.

It’s great seeing Netflix continue to invest in unique and original film properties but The Discovery will be marked down as one of their clear failures and while this intellectual thinking man’s Sci-Fi has moments of greatness, overall this emotionally void experience is one of the dominate companies worst original studio efforts this side of their Sandler “comedies”.

2 bunk beds out of 5

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10 responses to “Film Review – The Discovery (2017)

  1. I read another review from a friend of mine who felt the same way about this film. It does sound promising. The discovery of life after death, the definite proof we are all searching for. Personally, I think rather than be disappointed I will just watch the wonderfully moving, I Origins again. That tells me there may be another life after this one.

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