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I went into Stowaway blind. I had no idea what the plot was or even what genre it fell into. From the title, I thought it was going to be a space thriller possibly but that’s not at all what this is. This is a character driven space drama that asks big ethical questions.
For the most part, this is a pretty well made film that has good things to offer, but it’s also fairly forgettable at the same time. I’m mixed on this one because while this was not a waste of time, I feel like it had potential to be a lot more.
The cast is undoubtedly the best thing Stowaway has going for it. Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, and Shamier Anderson all give very strong convincing performances as this ships inhabitants. Toni Collette, who I’m a big fan of, does a wonderful job playing the Commander of the ship. She plays the role with a lot of heart and we as the audience like her very early on.
Anna Kendrick also plays her role with lots of heart and likability. Kendrick’s performance did make me teary eyed several different times so I commend her for committing fully and for being able to elicit such emotion. Kim plays his role with a down to earth type personality but he can be pretty blunt as well which I thought made for an interesting character with multiple traits.
All three of these actors are just almost instantaneously likeable and that helps a lot when it comes to making sure we care about and root for them. Anderson is good here too, I’ve never seen or heard of him before but I hope he continues to do what he’s doing because definitely has talent.
On top of their individual performances, they also all have good onscreen chemistry with one another. That good energy that exists between them all helps a lot because in order for this film to work at all we must believe that they care about each other.
Unquestionably, the best part of Stowaway is the last 20 minutes. There is a surprising amount of emotion and gravitas to the final stretch of this thing; so much so that I did get misty about what takes place. I mention that this film is fairly forgettable though because most of what leads up to that impactful ending is just alright.
There really isn’t anything “bad” or “poorly made” about Stowaway, it’s just that I felt that this could have delivered more than what it does. If your viewing experience is like mine then you’ll definitely remember the ending but you’ll have trouble recalling a lot of what happens leading up to it.
I feel like Stowaway could have benefited from a higher level of intensity and drama in the hour and twenty minutes leading up to the finale. This isn’t a bad script, but it could have used a second draft in order to spice things up some.
The visuals are always a topic of conversation when it comes to any film set in space and when it comes to Stowaway, unfortunately the visuals are middle of the road. There’s nothing bad or fake looking about the effects here, it’s just that it’s no Prometheus or Gravity.
Stowaway is a film with stellar performances and a whole lot of heart and it should be commended for that. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that it fully lives up to its potential. This could have been a great/memorable film instead of a pretty good/fairly forgettable film.
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