Stowaway Struggles With Slow Pacing

ANNA KENDRICK as ZOE LEVENSON in STOWAWAY. Photo credit: © 2021, Stowaway Productions, LLC, Augenschein Filmproduktion GmbH, RISE Filmproduktion GmbH. All rights reserved.

Stowaway may contain a strong cast but the film ultimately suffers with its slow pacing that may prove trouble for home audiences.

The gist of the film is that this small crew of three astronauts are headed towards Mars on a mission. What none of them are expecting is a stowaway being on board. It’s bad news for their life support systems. The crew has to start making decisions along the same lines as Apollo 13. But what decisions do you make and will everyone be in agreement?

Here’s what we know: Stowaway is set at some point in the future. Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) commands the small crew. She is joined by medical researcher Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) and biologist David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim). Both Levenson and Kim come from the world of academics and trained hard for this mission. One that will see them away from their families for two years. After docking with the space station, Barnett discovers the unconscious Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson). A bad situation gets worse when you realize where they found him. You can’t help but feel sorry for the crew.

(L-R) SHAMIER ANDERSON as MICHAEL ADAMS, ANNA KENDRICK as ZOE LEVENSON, DANIEL DAE KIM as DAVID KIM and TONI COLLETTE as MARINA BARNETT in STOWAWAY. Photo Credit © 2021, Stowaway Productions, LLC, Augenschein Filmproduktion GmbH, RISE Filmproduktion GmbH. All rights reserved.

Filmmaker Joe Penna aims for authenticity in terms of the science. When it comes to space movies, you always want the science to be right even for films set in the near-future. The experts, however, certainly do not agree all the time! I do not find this surprising at all. All this aside, I do like how Penna puts a Black man in the crew. If there’s one area where NASA needed to improve since it’s founding, it’s sending so few people of color into space.

I’m usually in the mood for a good space movie but the pacing for this film was just too slow for my liking. I like the cast involved but I think it comes down to watching the film on TV rather than the big screen. This has certainly been the biggest problem with the pandemic. When you’re watching a film at home and struggle with the pace, it’s usually a bad sign. I mean, sure I could have a similar problem with the pacing at a theater but I don’t have the distractions. Home viewing typically leads to more distractions and it’s not fun. Some films are better than others in this regard.

Stowaway isn’t entirely a bad film but it certainly struggles with pacing.

SCREENWRITERS: Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison
CAST: Toni Collette, Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Shamier Anderson

Netflix launches Stowaway on April 22, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.