Thirty brainwashed kids and one semi-coherent adult launch in a spaceship on an 86-year mission that few of them will survive. What could go wrong? Well, anyone who watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” knows plenty can go wrong. If they also read “Lord of the Flies” nothing remains but to wait for the ending. Animals on an Ark, the eight-year-olds do not have to actually fly the ship, luckily, because there turns out to be so much else for them to do. Especially after the troublesome adult is electrocuted in a space accident. Grownups are such kill-joys anyway.
Writer/director Neil Burger starts off with a standard high-tech lab environment, except the kids are dressed in underwear. (CONTINUED)