Had a bad feeling from the start. The main character came across as the last person anyone would select for a long term mission. He seemed to lack enthusiasm for what should have been the adventure of a lifetime. In fact, he seemed to lack any emotion at all.
I guess they were showing a contrast in the personalities of the astronauts to suggest that they would be a complimentary pair. There is something to be said for that, however, there is a limit to that reasoning and I felt sorry for the other guy who would have no one to laugh with on the whole trip. Death was a blessing.
The main character was so unlikeable, it was difficult to empathize with him in his plight. I did not see change in him as he went through his ordeal since he seemed just as miserable on day one.
His inability to deal with the death of his friend to the point of not being able to return to the hibernation module when it was optimal for the mission again showed just what a poor candidate he was for such a trip. Any decent selection process would have kept him on the ground.
The schematics for the gravity assist trajectories were all wrong and for a movie with no special effects, this surely could have, and should have, been presented properly. There were a few other gaffs too that should have been corrected.
When he repairs the hole from the micro-meteorite, he only repairs one hole. I think it is likely that there would have been an entry and an exit hole.
In a rotating artificial gravity environment, trajectories are skewed. Ping pong balls would be nearly impossible to hit unless the ring was at least double the size. (Minor error - very nitpicky.)
When the ship loses power, he gets cold. In the vacuum of space, the problem is usually dissipating heat generated by the body, the equipment and from the sun's radiation on the hull. I could be mistaken, but he should have been too hot. He probably would have been choking on carbon dioxide too, because it seemed that he lost all power.
On such a long journey, wouldn't there be some redundancy or a back up system? In the beginning, they made a point of saying it was a rushed and perhaps under-budgeted venture, but is strains credibility that anyone would send such a small crew and small ship on a journey like this. The chances of failure would be far too great. No matter how important the trip is to Mr. Moffitt, what's the point if it's going to fail? They had such a nifty ship, with a two-in-one descent module/inflatable ground habitat no less, and one would think the trip would have been better planned for success.
Why can't he turn the monitor or comms off? Pretty simple to have a switch and probably necessary in case of fire or repair. All electrical systems should have an off switch, if only to save power or wear.
Light from the sun takes only 8 minutes to reach Earth. Even if his ship was almost on the opposite side of the sun, communication could only have a 16 minute delay each way. 32 minutes between exchanges might make it difficult, but on such a long exile, there would be no reason for him to be so alone. He could even have multiple conversations at a time, listening to and then responding to five people in a row, and this would keep him occupied and sane. But then, he was not much of a conversationalist. Where was his family? Friends? Could have added some interest and made me feel for him more.
To me, he was more than merely resigned to his fate, he actually seemed to be making an effort to be as lonely and miserable as possible. I am not talking about him not wanting to watch the videos - that I understand - just his overall attitude. He didn't even try.
I was confused about him "seeing" Venus. I finally realized that he simply donned the suit and pretended, but why didn't he do a quick EVA?
For someone who learned to appreciate life again, I really don't see how he could choose to continue the mission. If it took three years just to get back to Earth, it surely would have taken two or three times that (at best) to travel the much larger, incredibly vast distance to Jupiter. I'm not going to bother looking it up, but it is much further than a round trip through the inner solar system and would have taken far longer regardless of the gravity assisted speed. He would certainly go mad on that trip and communication would take hours.
And even with the premise of reconstituting feces for food, the astronauts were supposed to be in some kind of hibernation and there is no way he would have enough food, water and oxygen for a fully awake journey. I also did not understand why the condition of the reentry vehicle mattered. Surely a Soyuz could have been sent up to retrieve him. They had three years.
Now that I have completely bashed this film, I will say that the premise was good and it is always nice to see a low budget film that skips the special effects and tries to present something real that has meaning. The film did convey the sense of isolation and boredom very well.
Mostly, I am disappointed that it failed on so many little details that would have cost nothing to correct. Its biggest failing, however, is the lack of any visible change in the character's appearance and in his mental state. I blame it on the script and direction more than the actor.