Review: Stowaway 2021 By Joe Penna
Netflix’s exploration of space continues after “The Cloverfield Paradox,” “Away,” and “The Midnight Sky” with the upcoming thriller “Stowaway,” starring Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, and Shamier Anderson. The movie comes from writer-director Joe Penna, who proved his thriller bonafides with his Mads Mikkelsen-starring wilderness movie “Arctic.” “Stowaway” stars the four-person ensemble as astronauts aboard a spaceship to Mars. The one problem is that there’s only enough oxygen on the ship for three people.
Netflix’s official synopsis for “Stowaway” reads: “On a mission headed to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision.”
“I had never really read anything like it,” Collette recently told Entertainment Weekly about her decision to join the Netflix project (it’s her third high profile Netflix gig after “Unbelievable” and “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”). “It is contained and the characters are confined but the questions posed, moral and otherwise, are vast and wide open…it’s ultimately about community, survival, and sacrifice. Who can’t relate to that at the moment?”
“It was so simple and so lean, but totally compelling,” Kendrick told EW about the script, which Penna co-wrote with Ryan Morrison. “The thing that feels really relevant is less the isolation of it and more that kind of problem-solving part of your brain that we were all engaging so vigorously in the first couple months of the pandemic. Just that constant problem-solving of, ‘wait, okay, how do we fix this?’ And just when it seems like you’re onto something, there’s some very obvious fundamental problem.”
Kendrick’s character is a medical researcher on the spaceship headed to Mars. Collette stars as the ship’s commander, while Kim plays a biologist. Anderson, best known for roles in “Love Jacked” and “Wynonna Earp,” is the eponymous stowaway.