Review of 'Stowaway'

The crew of MTS-42 have just launched from earth for their two year mission to Mars when they discover an unconscious and seriously wounded launch technician Michael (Shamier Anderson) behind one of the panels of the ship. Michael is nursed back to health by Zoe (Anna Kendrick) but panics when he learns he cannot return to Earth as he has been caring for his disabled sister. Unable to return to Earth, it is soon apparent that Michael's unexpected arrival has damaged an essential piece of equipment and put a strain on resources with little hope of all four reaching the red planet. Crew leader Marina (Toni Collette) asks the botanist David (Daniel Dae Kim, who will be familiar to fans of TV series “Lost” and “Hawaii-Five-O”) to see if he can help their oxygen situation by growing the algae intended for use on Mars but as the situation gets increasingly desperate things are about to get a lot worse…

This is a rather pleasant, easy going film that deals with some difficult decisions that such a situation would require. What do you do with the unexpected passengers, throw him out the airlock? Let him stay but endanger the lives of the rest of the crew? Ask him to take his own life? Much of the film is spent wrestling with these questions. The film finale is suitably dramatic, bringing the answers to these questions.

The cast is wonderful here and, refreshingly, realistic in terms of running a spacecraft - Easy going, and pragmatic to a fault. They convincingly portray the highly trained and intelligent crew as they try to work through the seemingly impossible problem set in front of them along with the help of those on the ground…exactly as it would likely play out in real life. There are a few Science-Fiction-y elements but for the most part it feels like quite a real and human story.

Quite enjoyable, if a bit of a slow burner though with a suitably fantastic action sequence towards the end. The story will keep you guessing up until the final minutes…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2021-08-21

Directed by: Joe Penna

Studio: Augenschein Filmproduktion

Year: 2021

Length: 116 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction