FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2018 -- Gunpowder & Sky, the same studio that released last years incredibly underrated comedy "The Little Hours", has taken a chance with sci-fi with Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl's first feature length film.


Sophie Thatcher and Jay Duplass star as daughter and daddy Cee and Damon - two space prospectors looking to score a megahit on the moon of a distant planet before they lose a chance to make it home. It takes the concept of the goldrush and pushes it into space. Cut-throat prospectors are everywhere and Cee and her dad have to navigate through them.

Cee is dragged there by Damon like she's the son he always wanted. She's tough, but would rather be doing something else. It is her misfortune to have a greedy dad whose looking to have this one big score at the expense of everyone else, including his daughter.


The moon is lawless and it isn't long before they come across claim-jumpers led by a rogue named Ezra (Pedro Pascal), who is also looking for a big score. In the confrontation Damon bites it (rather early in the film), leaving Cee to contend with Ezra. But Ezra doesn't know how to extract the mineral they are looking for, so he needs her.


After they team up, they encounter more rogues... even more deadly than he. One (Anwan Glover) is looking for a fertile woman and is willing to trade some of the valuable mineral for Cee; which Ezra deeply considers. The next group of rogues are the planet's most notorious rogues. They present the most difficult challenge to Cee and Ezra as both are looking to different ends - Ezra for wealth, Cee just to get off the moon.


For Pascal, this film is right up his alley having already appeared in "The Great Wall", "The Adjustment Bureau" and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"...quirky fiction is his forte. Almost the same can be said about Jay, he (and his brother Mark) have a thing for quirky films that tend to go sideways. For Sophie, this is her first feature length film away from television and she performs well as the desperate damsel in distress - but not helpless.


For a lo-fi sci-fi, Caldwell and Earl do a pretty good job creating the effect that the events of the film happen on another planet. The sparkly space dust that constantly floats across the screen is effect and helped keep the budget under $4 million.


"Prospect" is a pretty entertaining space thriller that combines Peter Hyams' "Outland" and John Huston's "The Treasure of Sierra Madre". Creative sets, dutiful; acting and directing make this lo-fi sci-fi a solid bet. [Limited release]   -- GRADE B --   GEOFF BURTON