Stowaway ★★

Survivor's Guilt

How is "Stowaway" not about race? A black technician inadvertently finds himself on a ship heading to a new world after being concussed and otherwise injured. He's told by the non-black voyagers that he doesn't belong and there isn't enough (breathing) room, so he must die. Obviously, every movie need not be about race, but they're preferably about something, and this is the set-up thrown into this void of a space movie that otherwise appears to be about nothing but survival, with the obligatory occasional glance at the beauty of the stars, and goes out of its way to never mention race. Even if it were intended as subtle subtext, to what point would it be? It also wouldn't matter otherwise, but it makes me wonder if that's why the four-hander doesn't include a white man. Is this merely, as others have suggested, a poor-man's "Gravity" (2013) meets "The Martian" (2015)? I like space movies, which is why I watched this, and this one is suspenseful enough at times, but, c'mon, it's got to be more than that.

I suppose a big movie production, especially one relying on spectacle and including some well-known actors like this one, is in some ways like the mission to Mars it depicts. You may begin with reasons for launching the project--algae or medical research or some idea that seemed important in the beginning--but so many unforeseen obstacles and mistakes get in the way that it becomes only about surviving to the completion of the mission. Everything else is discarded along the way.

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