For the unversed, stowaways are people who travel secretly in any form of transportation like buses, trams, trains, aircrafts, etc. Joe Penna’s Stowaway takes it a notch higher by getting a stowaway passenger in a spaceship travelling to Mars for a two-year mission. I know what you’re thinking – it’s absurd to even think of a situation like this! After all, the numerous security checks that happen before the reverse countdown of a spaceship begins, makes this situation pretty much of an impossibility. They are NASA and not your local Nasha-Mukti Kendra for Pete’s sake!
Still, for the sake of the movie, let’s consider this does happen...
A spaceship, which has the food supplies and oxygen capacity for just three passengers, gets an extra passenger out of the blue. Will the people who are legally on the spaceship have to kill the extra passenger to make sure that such an expensive mission doesn’t go futile? Well, that dilemma is the factor that should have brought chills down your spine. However, that isn’t converted into the necessary thrill factor onscreen.
The writing, by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, is sluggish to say the least. The film drags so much that even if you doze off in the middle once in a while; you’ll not miss anything. There are situations created, which you would think would increase the intensity, but right when you are about to savour the moment, the dilemma of the scene just fizzles out, leaving you exasperated. To top it all, you are served a cold and predictable climax.
Anna Kendrick plays exactly the same person she has been playing in most of her films – a bubbly and happy-go-lucky girl. Now, there is no rule that says that a NASA spacecraft cannot have such a girl in their team, but going by some of the choices that she makes on board, it seems unlikely. Kendrick’s portrayal of the same was, however, perfect. Daniel Dae Kim is sublime and makes you want to keep yourself in his shoes and think about the predicament at hand. You are constantly wondering whether he is the good guy or the bad guy. Shamier Anderson and Toni Collette don’t have enough screen time, yet they manage to get the best out of it.
One of the biggest shortcomings of the movie is the editing by Ryan Morrison. It could have been way crisper and the runtime could have been shortened by at least 10 minutes. Even in the cinematography by Klemens Becker, you are constantly reminded of a dismal and futile attempt at something great, like Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity.
Stowaway is a sluggish film although not entirely devoid of thrills. However, you would be left expecting more. Netflix has much better stories to offer this week, and Stowaway is easily SKIPPABLE. I am going with 2 stars.
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson
Director: Joe Penna
Ratings: 2 Stars