Directed by Joe Penna
Written by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison
Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson.
Not long into a two year mission to Mars, three astronauts (Kendrick, Collette and Kim) discover that one of mission control’s crew members (Anderson) accidentally trapped himself in the ship before take off. Unable to turn back, they must carry on with him. When they discover that the system to remove the Co2 has been destroyed, and there isn’t enough oxygen to sustain four people, they must try to work out a way to carry on.
Some impressive direction from relative newcomer Penna. with most of the film taking place in the small confines of a spaceship, makes the cinematography work impressive. There are also some long tracking shots which follow the characters throughout the ship as they go about their time, sometimes in conversation, and sometimes not.
With such a small cast, there is little room to hide from less than stellar performances, and as much as I have enjoyed most of the cast in prior roles, this was not some of their better work. They were just fine, but not as exceptional as I have seen them in the past.
I haven’t seen much of Anderson’s body of work, but he was the standout performer. His character is faced with such a devastating situation, and he gave a great performance.
It does drag a little bit throughout, and could have done with some editing down to help with the pacing. The final moments of the film, while trying to be emotive, felt a little forced.
The score is from Academy Award nominated Volker Bertelmann, and is pretty tense, as is the entire movie, especially the last half an hour or so. It is one of the best things about the movie.