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Stowaway (2021)


I am a big Anna Kendrick fan ever since Up in the Air, where she plays a Cornell grad. Sadly, in Stowaway, she plays a Yale graduate opposite Daniel Dae Kim, a Harvard graduate. Anna and Daniel play Zoe and David, the two support astronauts on a mission to Mars. They are led by Toni Collette as the captain of the mission Marina. Shortly after they enter Outer space, they discover Michael, Shamier Anderson, inside part of the ship. During this discovery, the device used to convert Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen is damaged and the stage is set for the rest of the film.

The ship cannot turn around and unlike The Martian, food is not the immediate issue. The Oxygen levels of the ship are dropping with the added passenger and the ground support team cannot come up with a viable solution. It remains unclear how helpful they are trying to be since you never hear their side of the conversations. If you are expecting Apollo 11 style engineering miracles you will be disappointed. The story stays on rails and heads in the direction that you first guess.

In this life-or-death scenario, you would expect to grow attached to the characters, but that did not happen for me. Zoe is compassionate towards Michael and it feels genuine, but it seems that Zoe is just a good person, there is no backstory to support her actions. David and Maina come across as cold, but they have logical reasons for their actions, especially when you consider all the preparation that a space crew goes through and the type of people that can function in the environment. The film makes a good case for euthanasia.

The film builds suspense as oxygen levels decrease and viable solutions dwindle. It culminates in a beautifully shot space scene but closes on a disappointing ending. The acting is solid throughout, but only Michael gets a fleshed-out backstory of one traumatic moment in his life. The ship keeps heading for Mars and leaves open numerous questions about the rest of the crews' journey and any return to Earth. This is a Netflix original and seems to fit that caliber of the movie, top acting talent cannot save a sub-par film.

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