Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly made a name for themselves this year with the indie time travel hit Safety Not Guaranteed. The duo are now reuniting, with each other and Big Beach, for another go at science fiction with The Ambassador. The division of labor will be similar to that on Safety. Trevorrow and Connolly will both work on the script, while Trevorrow will handle the directing duties.
The film is set in the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, which not only monitors the universe for signs of life but is prepared to represent humanity if and when aliens arrive on earth. A shy, low-ranking staffer unwittingly makes first contact when he meets a mysterious beautiful woman and must risk more than his job when they are threatened by forces of this world and beyond.
This sounds like a similar approach to the genre as Safety, though with a more explicit, this-is-science-fiction set up. The pair’s first film leaves the question of whether or not the time travel element is real or not dangling in the air for the majority of the movie. Even though The Ambassador involves aliens, Trevorrow and Connolly say it is “about a pair of emotionally dysfunctional people forced into a situation beyond their control.”
Safety Not Guaranteed is a charming, clever take on sci-fi. It is a quiet film, driven more by complex characters, an inventive story, and an idea, than a massive special effects budget and tons of eye candy. From this description, The Ambassador will likely follow in those footsteps. That sounds great. Good storytelling in sci-fi is always welcome, especially compared to some of the big-budget nonsense that gets slapped onto movie screens.