Directed by Joe Penna and co-written with Ryan Morrison, following the pair’s Mads Mikkelsen-starring Arctic, Stowaway is the duo’s second heart-pounding survivalist film. Their two works share several commonalities: they are claustrophobic affairs; whereas the Arctic partially takes place in an airplane about to crash on the ground, the Stowaway crew’s craft appearance nearly to a submarine in its slender slinking hallways than a built-out second home.
The film opens within the capsule throughout takeoff, with Penna taking a page from “First Man,” expressing the dread-ridden facet of space flight through the volcanic tumult the crew members are subjected to. It is as if they were strapped in an exceedingly large milk-shake blender; till the ship leaves the grip of Earth’s atmosphere, you feel as if it’s getting to fly apart. There are four crew members: Zoe (Anna Kendrick), a physician who’s a relative amateur in space (looking out the window, she grins at Earth like a happy child); Marina, the ship’s commander, acted by Toni Collette with a been-around-the-block authority (and reminding you that she sounds like once she speaks in her hard flat Australian accent); David (Daniel Dae Kim), a gently nosy botanist; and Michael (Shamier Anderson), a launch support engineer who accidentally got stuck on the vessel right before takeoff.
There is not much space in the movie. The movie’s intensity stems from the resulting claustrophobia. The way Penna introduces space’s petrifying void into the narrative’s thrilling climax is accomplished through a misleadingly plain premise. To rescue Michael, Zoe and David need to venture outside the craft, climb the tethers to a different ship attached 450 meters away while not damaging their vessel’s electronics or slip away into space. Some components of the tether are completely gravitated, whereas other sections give way to weightlessness. The VFX in Stowaway isn’t mind-blowing. They’re competent and noticeable, notably in the visually generic take-off sequence. However the tether scene is an excellently paced, heart-pounding piece of filmmaking holding similarities to Ad Astra, wherein the risky openness of the cosmos, Hauschka’s frightening score, and Morrison’s rigid editing merge for frenzied fits of panic. The scene is an example of the agility Penna and Morrison have for these forms of narratives.
Stowaway spends almost two hours heightening the pressure on a crew left with an impossible decision just for the edge-of-your-seat concern to lull throughout the film’s waning minutes. Penna ends Stowaway on a solemn register that leaves one cold, and partially unhappy. The mild end, however, doesn’t negate the previous sensational journey nor undo the center palpitation it elicited. Stowaway is shrewd in its decision-making and even finer in its execution.
Here, there aren't any villains, simply the cruelty of space, dumb luck, and also the completely different taxonomies of valor, decency, and sacrifice that the Kingfisher crew members represent. And just when one worries that the film is nothing but only about inner struggles between principle and pragmatism, Penna contrives a visceral tether-climb space-walk sequence that delivers us into the ultimate act wiggling with secondhand anxiety.
And for the most half, apart from a slightly slack beginning, and its stirring, however, an oversimplified ending, that sort of well-researched procedural detail is what makes Penna’s film such a riveting and astonishingly touching addition to a genre already detonating with splashier, a lot of extravagant, and a lot of overtly sentimental titles. “Stowaway” sets a tiny low story within the size of space, and thus brings space simply a bit closer to home.
Final Score – [7.2/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
Get all latest content delivered to your email a few times a month.
Bringing Pop Culture News from Every Realm, Get All the Latest Movie, TV News, Reviews & Trailers
Got Any questions? Drop an email to [email protected]