Neil Burger's sci-fi thriller would have been a better series than this slick but underwhelming (and predictable) teen flick. Like Lord of the Flies meets The 100 in space, Voyagers' plot starts off promisingly, even though audiences will have questions after it's revealed that the children were initially expected to be on the ship by themselves, without an adult present. From there, viewers may wonder how the brightest minds in the world ever thought that filling a ship with unsupervised tweens and teens would lead to anything but mayhem. Plot roadblocks aside, however, Sheridan does a good job as an older teen who starts to question what mission control -- and, by extension, Richard -- has told them all about the drug that's being forced upon them. Farrell does his best to be a father figure and leader, but never underestimate the power of the teen libido, Burger seems to say. What's slightly laughable is that on a ship full of attractive, diverse young people, both Christopher and Zac (who are both White) must of course fall for the same White girl -- in this case, medical officer Sela (Lily-Rose Depp, who doesn't demonstrate much acting range in the role).
The only prescient voice of reason is Phoebe (Chanté Adams), a Black mission specialist who's repeatedly told to shut up (and, ludicrously, is called fat because she's 10 pounds heavier than all of the other supermodel-thin young women). It doesn't take psychic powers to determine early on that she's the Piggy of this group. The movie's cinematography and editing are well executed, and the actors don't have to do much more than act some combination of compliant, scared, aroused -- or, in the case of a couple of the baddies, psychopathic. Whitehead, with his Tom Hiddleston-like cheekbones and narrowed eyes, is well cast as the beautiful but bad villain. If audiences want to see a cast of attractive early 20-something actors in life-threatening and sexy situations, there are far better films than this eye-rollingly formulaic movie.