Marina Barnett (Toni Collette), David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) and Zoe Levensen (Anna Kendrick) are on a mission to Mars. Marina is the commander on the mission while this is Zoe’s first trip and she’s rather excited. A Q&A with mission control tells the audience that these are the best of the best and that Commander Barnett couldn’t be prouder of them. However, time passes and soon they discover something is wrong and on further inspection they find a stowaway, a man called Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson) has hidden away on the ship.
Realising their predicament, the crew all take to Adams rather well and welcome him aboard as he’s given the gravity (no pun intended) of his situation. Although, once they weigh up their options, they realise that with four on board when there should have been three, their oxygen is going to run out before they get home.
Stowaway is the latest Netflix sci-fi original and with an all-star cast, it promises an intriguing story, a good script and an exciting plot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t manage to deliver on any of these promises.
What starts out as a mystery as to how Michael got on board, attention is soon diverted to the bigger moral dilemma of how they’re going to survive and the lengths that they may have to go to in order to ensure it. However, the many avenues that the plot promises go undiscovered.
Stowaway looks great and visually there’s nothing else like watching a small crew on board a space craft. It also opens up many opportunities for a close-knit cast to bounce off of each other as they delve into the depths of their situation.
Sadly though, it seems that director Joe Penna may have had a great concept, but didn’t know how to pull it off. For science nerds and even those with a passing interest in space there are also a lot of troubling decisions that distract from the plot and even the tenser moments are purely because ‘they’re in space’.
This means that the tension never really feels real, especially when the characters are all so inept. Stowaway is a good concept, but it falls apart easily and frustratingly wastes so much of its potential.
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