“A man’s work is no petty thing.”Ezra
The debut film from writing and directing team Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl, sci-fi Western Prospect draws influences from a wide range of science fiction, blending them into a surprisingly cohesive and deeply atmospheric whole. Trekking through the ominously serene undergrowth is reminiscent of Annihilation, whilst the grounded technology and sense of isolation recalls the likes of Moon and Alien. Like Monsters, the strong worldbuilding is used as a vehicle to explore human relationships, in this case the reliance, mistrust and forgiveness between greedy prospectors harvesting resources on the fringe of human expansion into space. Pedro Pascal’s turn as the eloquent and mercurial Ezra, channelling Firefly‘s Mal Reynolds, foreshadowed his role as The Mandalorian in the biggest sci-fi Western franchise around. In her first feature, Sophie Thatcher is effective if less consistent as the determined Cee. It may be narrow in scope, but Prospect shows that an absorbing step into a believable future requires thoughtful filmmaking rather than vast budgets.