Film Review: Settlers

Ilsa and Remmy

We live in a time when the colonisation of the stars is closer than it has ever been before. Whilst our probes delve deeper, both in terms of distance and detail, billionaires race against one another to be the first to monetise space. All the science points to the fact that the Earth is rapidly approaching its expiry date, so competition is likely to become increasingly intense. We’ll need brave pathfinders and pioneers to prepare the ground, as is the case in Settlers.

Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) and Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) eke out an existence on their remote Martian settlement. After fleeing Earth following an ecological disaster, they live with their nine-year-old daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince). Their lives are often difficult but at least they have each other. That is until one day the son (Ismael Cruz Córdova) of the former owner appears and want to take back what is rightfully his. Shattering the girl’s sheltered existence forever.

Whilst Settlers is very much a slow burn, this unhurried pacing works in its favour. Allowing the relationships between the characters to develop and heightening the sense of isolation. At its heart, Wyatt Rockefeller’s film is a minimalist space western, playing on the tropes and cliches of the genre. Sadly, despite some decent acting, Settlers suffers from a lack of originality and focus. Everything feels derivative and there’s no real narrative heft to cling on to.  

Settlers is released on digital platforms from 30 July.

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