Stowaway: a little lost in space but still grounded

Netflix’s outstanding Stowaway full of beautiful images, great score, tons of prolonged eye contact


Image via Netflix.

Being launched into space, three astronauts begin what they believe to be an uncomplicated trip to Mars. Things take a turn when one of the mechanics, who was supposed to stay on Earth, is found unconscious and injured on the ship that has since taken off and is millions of miles from home. His arrival on the ship completely hijacks the intended mission.

A three sentence summary fails to do justice to this movie. To fully enjoy the film, the viewer has to suspend disbelief for an hour and fifty six minutes. Since nothing in the movie seems even slightly realistic. There are also many plot holes to ignore or fixate on, depending on who’s watching.

Plot holes aside, the movie is pretty good. The story and dialogue are both entertaining.
Anna Kendrick does an amazing job starring as Dr. Zoe Levenson. She gives the most emotional performance, and in a relatively slow movie, she attracts the audience’s focus with ease.

Shamier Anderson, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette make up the rest of the four person cast. They all do a great job with the material they’re given, but it’s really Kendrick who steals the show.

The movie is just under two hours, and as previously stated, is pretty slow, but it is never boring. The beautiful shots of both outer space and the interior of the ship are very mesmerizing and artistic.

The score is also very good on its own, but coupled with the plot it is responsible for one of the downfalls of the movie. The movie adds dramatic music to nearly every significant scene as though it is some electrifying climax. It can be kind of exhausting with so many moments treated as huge turning points back to back to back. Nonetheless, the really impactful moments are still well executed and communicate their significance appropriately.

The final issue this movie has is its lack of explanation for important details, which kind of fits into the issue of multiple plot holes. Assuming the viewer isn’t an astronaut is something this movie banks on, because it seems like none of the events would ever actually happen. That being said, as non space engineers, the viewer needs a little more information to fully latch onto the movie. None of the science is explained well enough to actually make sense or contribute to the movie.

One thing, however, is there is a lot of aggressive eye contact. This is neither good nor bad, but often it seems like when two of the characters are just staring at each other it is the prelude to a kiss or other romantic gesture. Spoiler alert: there is no romance in this movie, which just makes the amount of eye contact awkward in a funny sort of way.

Overall, the movie is very good, and I definitely recommend watching it.

3.5/5 stars