Stowaway (2021)

Imagine the years of training required to be fit mentally and physically for the 2 year journey to Mars, and the pride of being one of the chosen few deemed the best of the best. Zoe (Anna Kendrick) and David (Daniel Dae Kim) are the two scientists sent on the mission with commander Marina Barnett (Toni Collette). But when their three-person pod starts developing issues after take off, none of them could have guessed that the cause would be an inadvertent stowaway. And now there’s nothing but awful choices to be made for survival, as Earth disappears in the distance and the limited resources – food, fuel, air – dwindle.

On the plus side, the cast of four are all excellent here. The sets are wonderful. And the tension is played excellently.

But, did I enjoy it? Sadly, no. Partly that was my own fault for not knowing anything about the film going in, and quite frankly jumping to all the wrong possible conclusions. But oh, how I wish this had been a movie about alien nasties stowing away on the return journey from Mars. Or even a less out-there scenario, of a trapped crew turning murderous. I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to tell you that this is neither of those movies, because if I’d know that going in I probably would have swerved it.

Instead, what we get is a disaster movie in space. And I am just not in a headspace to enjoy watching realistic (well, the science isn’t that realistic, quite frankly!) depictions of people having to make crappy choices – life is full of too many of those. I don’t need a reminder that happy endings are less than guaranteed right now.

Your tastes may vary, of course, and if you do feel this is your cuppa more than mine, then it is well enough done. I did enjoy the way it played with the anxiety levels, having things go right or wrong in a perfect toying with expectations. But I can’t recommend at all – it really wasn’t for me, tonally, nor did it offer enough ‘else’ to rise above that.

Released: 22nd April 2021 (Netflix)
Viewed: 23rd April 2021
Running time: 116 minutes
Rated: 12A

My rating: 6/10 – well enough made, but the misery-fest wasn’t remotely what I expected or wanted

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