Anna Kendrick Meets Uninvited Astronaut in Stowaway Now Streaming
In the near future, a three-man expedition to Mars has been organized by the massive Hyperion corporation, commanded by the veteran astronaut Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) and crewed by David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) and Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick). David and Zoe are first-time space explorers, selected by the company due to their outstanding research proposals on biology and medical science, respectively. All is well just after liftoff, and everyone settles into what will be their cramped home for the two year voyage, when suddenly an unconscious man (Shamier Anderson) falls from the ceiling. When the uninvited guest awakens, he identifies himself as Michael Adams, a member of the ground crew who somehow became stuck while working on the oxygen systems. The ship has no way to turn around, so the team must adjust to living with a fourth astronaut on a ship meant for three. While Michael quickly feels as though he is part of crew, complications arise as Commander Barnett realizes that the oxygen system Michael had been installing was damaged in his fall. Now, it seems that there will only be enough air for three people to keep breathing…
In the age of massive superhero blockbusters and multi-season prestige television, Stowaway is remarkable: there is no grand conspiracy, nobody has ulterior motives, and there is never a villain. Hyperion is an extremely negligent corporation to be sure, not even initially being able to locate employment records of Michael, but nobody broods about the company’s screwup, and no corporate stooge ever comes onscreen to give a disingenuous speech about sacrifice; as soon as the crew left Earth, they were the only ones who could impact each other in any meaningful way.
An almost totally performance driven sci-fi movie tough to pull off, but the cast is more than up to the challenge. Collette has more than proved her skill in portraying extremely stressed-out matriarchs in movies like The Sixth Sense and Hereditary (nobody can grimace like she can), and her experience translates well to commanding a spacecraft running out of air. Barnett’s fracturing coolness contrasts well with the quiet Daniel and plucky Zoe. Stuck in the middle of all of it is Michael, who is cautiously happy just to be there.
Stowaway pulls off exactly what the title implies: there’s simply one more person than there should be.
Directed by: Joe Penna
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni Collette
Streaming on: Netflix