Tye Sheridan in Voyagers.

So … some kids get put on a spaceship, where they will grow up with their ability to sense pleasure dulled by a blue liquid that looks like Nyquil. This is supposed to keep them from going crazy with desire on a long space haul to colonize another planet. Since the trip to another world will take 86 years, their grandchildren will actually be the populators of the new world.

Of course, one of them figures out that the Nyquil stuff is making them dull as fuck, and they decide not to drink it anymore. Chaos ensues as the teenagers feel each other’s genitals for the first time, and the whole expedition is put in jeopardy.

A question: Why in the hell would you spend trillions of dollars on a spaceship, meticulously plan a civilization-saving expedition, and not come up with a way to be totally sure that the kids won’t at some point say, “Ah, screw it; let’s not drink this stuff!” Your entire endeavor rests on the shoulders of some twit teens who will most assuredly rebel and go Lord of the Flies on y’all. That’s a lot of money you’ve thrown at a mission on which you are hoping kids never figure out they are being abused and used.

This inane premise is the primary problem with writer-director Neil Burger’s Voyagers. The teens predictably decide not to drink the Nyquil stuff early on in the film, and the silliness infects the entire remaining running time.

Yes, this is an unofficial, sci-fi remake of Lord of the Flies. Instead of Jack, the villain is named Zac. (See? The names rhyme!) Instead of the fake beast, you have an “alien.” You have the one nice kid trying to lead while the bad kid wants to control the food and go primal. There’s no writing credit here for William Golding; he’s dead, but if he were alive, I imagine he’d be saying, “Hey assholes … pay me!”

Johnny Depp’s daughter is in this, along with one of the kids from The Tree of Life, and various other pretty youngsters. Colin Farrell is in the film as well, looking wholly embarrassed. That’s all you need to know about the casting.

The art direction is unimaginative, and the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious, adding to the mess made by the ridiculous premise.

Not only is Voyagers the worst … Nyquil commercial … ever; it’s an early contender for the Year’s Worst Film.

Voyagers is playing at open theaters across the valley.