By James Davidson
“Stowaway” is a Science-Fiction, Drama, starring Anna Kendrick, Daniel Kae Kim, Shamier Anderson, and Toni Collette. When a three person mission to Mars finds an unexpected passenger on board, they are faced with a moral dilemma when the stowaway threatens the lives of everyone on board. “Stowaway” is available exclusively on the Netflix streaming service.
When Michael Adams (Anderson) accidentally gets trapped on the space ship while performing a pre launch maintenance check, he is knocked unconscious during the launch. After he is discovered by the commander of the ship, Marina Barnett (Collette) the ships CO2 scrubber is damaged, meaning there is only enough oxygen on board to support three passengers on the 5 month journey to Mars. With the Mission threatened, the people in charge of the mission are quick to determine the only way to save all of the crew, is to eliminate the stowaway. The crew must face the moral dilemma of taking a human life, or threatening all of their lives and their lifes work.
I was interested in this film because it was a Sci-Fi movie and the fact that there were only four actors in the entire movie intrigued me. While the acting was incredible, I was a bit disappointed in the writing and execution of the story.
I thought that the writing was a little sloppy, the writers seemed to just jump to the easiest solution that fit their agenda whether or not it made sense, or taking time to explain their reasoning. For example, it’s never really explained how a maintenance worker accidentally found his way on board a spaceship headed for Mars. The explanation that was given, that he was performing maintenance checks and somehow was knocked unconscious, doesn’t really explain how he ended up screwed into the ceiling of the ship, and remained unconscious for more than 12 hours while the ship was launched. Also apparently he wasn’t missed until 12 hours into the mission. I would think that when a person sent to a critical part of the ship to check on things doesn’t report back, that would set off some alarms with someone.
I was also appalled at the quickness in which everyone involved, with the exception of the ships doctor, Zoe Levenson (Kendrick), was to jump to the solution of killing the stowaway. The crew does eventually try other solutions, but only when other complications arise and it is apparent that one of the original crew will die unless they try something else. I just feel like there would be either more push back from the crew, or other solutions attempted before they jumped to immediately taking a human life.
The one redeeming quality of this film is the acting. There are only four characters in the entire film and all are played by extremely talented actors. All of the acting is incredible and almost savers this film from subpar writing. I was very disappointed in the writing of this film because I thought that the plot was original and had a lot of potential to be quite good.
This movie is rated TV-MA, there isn’t much that is offensive in this film with the exception of some mild profanity. The plot is too mature for young children. However, it should be appropriate for teenagers.
“Stowaway” has a lot of potential and some incredible acting, but suffers from some sloppy writing and could use some more explanation on some crucial plot points. All in all it’s a mediocre Sci-Fi film that could have been so much better with just one or two more scenes to establish characters or explain some plot points. It’s not a horrible way to spend an evening in however and is worth a watch if you are a realistic Science-Fiction fan. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.