Daniel Fitzsimmons’ debut feature is scuppered by an undercooked script and half-baked ideas that fail to ignite any real feeling in sci-fi psychological drama, Native.

After a telepathic alien hive race discovers a strange musical transmission being emitted from a far off planet, two scientists, Cane (Rupert Graves) and Eva (Ellie Kendrick), are sent on a mission to uncover and colonize its source.

Science-fiction struggles in a difficult balancing act of having to find that sweet spot between being an effects laden mess of “crashes and booms” and a lo-fi serving of forgettable beige. Unfortunately, for Native, the film suffers greatly as the later.

Billed as a character driven exploration of overwrought sci-fi ideas on individuality vs collectivism, identity, isolation and loneliness, Native fails to offer up anything new. However, old ideas can hold up through interesting, well developed characters that evoke a sense of sympathy to their plight. There are none here. Cane and Eva are given the depth and dimension of cardboard cut-outs and the performances put in compliment this.

The cold, emotionless dress Native wears feels less a construct and more a by-product of a poorly put together script that’s attempting to attach weight to the superficiality of ideas that are never given the time to be fully realized. The result is a forgettable film, bland in appearance and that burns so slowly it fizzles out before it’s even really started.

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