When the scientist Thomas Harbor proves the existence of afterlife, there is a massive wave of suicides on Earth. On the second anniversary of his discovery, his estranged son Will travels on a ferry to the island where his father lives. He meets Isla, a troubled woman that lost her five-year son, and they have a conversation; then they say goodbye to each other on the arrival. Will's brother Tobydrives him to Thomas's real estate, indeed a colony for troubled people that attempted to suicide. Thomas discloses that he has developed a machine to record what dead people see in the afterlife. When Will walks on the beach, he sees Isla trying to commit suicide, but he saves and brings Isla to his father's house.
Directed by: Charlie McDowell
. Starring: Robert Redford
, Mary Steenburgen
, Brian McCarthy
, Jason Segel
, Rooney Mara
, Jesse Plemons
, Ron Canada
, Riley Keough
, Connor Ratliff
, M.J. Karmi
, Kimleigh Smith
, Willie C. Carpenter
, Wendy Makkena
. Music by: Danny Bensi
, Saunder Jurriaans
Some guy named Thomas is being interviewed on TV. We learn that he's a scientists who discovered proof that there's an afterlife, although he's reluctant to call it that, he prefers "a different plane of existence." So in celebration of 1 million suicides he finally agreed to be interviewed. Suddenly one of the TV techs present shoots himself in the head. So far so good.
Years and 3 million suicides later we meet some guy named Will, he's the dumbest neurologist the universe has ever seen. He's on a ferry where he meets one of the awful Maras in one their usual obnoxious roles. After several minutes of insufferable arguments where it's made clear that the girl is a genius and Will a weak moron, I was ready to stop watching this sickening junk.
Thankfully they finally make it to the island and the broad is gone. Will is picked up by his dumb brother and taken to some castle, which is run by their father--Thomas. He's got a bunch of followers in colorful jumpsuits, people he saved from committing suicide and who have found meaning doing menial tasks for Thomas.
Will goes to the beach and runs into...Isla, the girl from the ferry (crap)...as she's about to commit suicide. She's adopted right away into the cult and takes a leadership position. Thomas has a new machine that he thinks will show where consciousness goes after death. Will for some reason concludes they need a corpse to test this on(?). So they rob a corpse from the morgue, attach it to the machine, and starts shocking it with electricity. The experiment is a failure. Will returns later and out of the blue a monitor is showing something, namely someone walking in POV through a hospital and running into a woman. Will concludes these are the memories of the dead guy.
So he starts tracking down the place and the woman, but things don't match entirely. When he returns, Thomas--who has been practicing death and revival on himself--has hooked himself up to the machine and the monitor now shows in real time his memories of his wife who committed suicide, but again, the details don't match. By now Will and Isla are a couple, Thomas has fired one of his minions and given her spot to Isla, something that will come back to haunt them all. Eventually they figure out what the images represent and for no good reason it involves the eternal recurrence of the same, which Will will experience in the flesh.
The Discovery had my full attention and support during the intro, but a few minutes later I hated the movie and it barely managed to recover. This is an instance of the writersdirector thinking so highly of themselves that they completely forgot about making a good, coherent, and interesting movie. Proving how offensively politically correct they are was more important than anything else. The result is a movie with a good concept but that goes absolutely nowhere. There are one or two smart lines here which is pathetic considering the amount of talking that goes on. The characters of Will, Toby (the brother), and Isla are so absurd they go far beyond the little sci-fi offered. The editor should have trimmed this movie by at least 15 minutes but again, the filmmakers were apparently convinced that every moronic second counts. Adding to the annoyance is the constant over-bearing music.
The Discovery is a massive failure. I should have stayed away from it when I noticed the sundance logo. It's become a sure way to identify poor movies.
Review by TdSmth5 from the Internet Movie Database.