Art & Entertainment

'Spaceman' On Netflix Movie Review: Adam Sandler's Sci-Fi Odyssey Reaches A Crescendo But Leaves You Hanging In The Cosmos

Outlook Rating:
3 / 5

Starring Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan, 'Spaceman' is now available to stream on Netflix. Is this space movie worth watching? Or you can choose to skip it? Read the full review to find out.

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Adam Sandler in 'Spaceman' Photo: Netflix
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When I think of Adam Sandler, all that my mind conjures up is the image of the actor in a baggy t-shirt and knee-length shorts. I imagine the actor in comic roles, rarely in serious roles. So, when the trailer of ‘Spaceman’ was out, I was in for a ride. I knew I had to brace myself for the unexpected like millions of other fans of the actor. ‘Spaceman’ follows the journey of a man in space. He is all alone on a national mission. During the mission, he battles loneliness and despair. The movie is now available to stream on Netflix. In case you want to give it a watch over the weekend, here’s all that you need to know about it.

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‘Spaceman’: Story

The story of ‘Spaceman’ revolves around Jakub (Adam Sandler) who is already six months into a year-long solo research mission in space. Jakub is on a mission to explore the mysterious Chopra dust cloud that is located on the edge of the solar system. The Chopra cloud could contain the secrets of the universe. However, he has his battles to fight during the quest. Not only is the malfunctioning toilet on his spaceship keeping him up, but he has also received a breakup message from his pregnant wife – Lenka (Carey Mulligan).

As Jakub grapples with the challenges of the cosmos and his personal life, he meets Hanus (voiced by Paul Dano). He forms an unexpected bond with the spider. The giant spider helps him come to terms with his grief, loss, and trauma. During the process, they form a life-altering bond that changes how Jakub continues his mission.

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'Spaceman': Performances

Adam Sandler wows you with his performance as Jakub. He surprises you in every frame. I watched the film without having any expectations from Sandler and that worked in my favour. Mind you, the performance was not absolutely flawless. There were certain flaws here and there. In certain scenes, it felt like he was not able to completely let the grief consume him, and those parts came across as jagged. Similarly, certain scenes with Carey Mulligan lacked the spark that would have made me go gaga when it came to their chemistry.

Carey Mulligan proves why she is the best in the business. She does not have as many scenes as Sandler, but every minute she is on screen she grabs your attention. She never came across as a mean woman who wanted to leave her husband for selfish reasons. The way she acts in moments where she is expressing her helplessness and loneliness made me tear up. She convinces you of her pain and how much she has been suppressing.

Kunal Nayyar is quite promising as Peter. The movie shows him as a reliable force on the ground for Jakub. He exudes the same energy in the film. He is reliable and does exactly what is expected of him. He does not stray away from the requirements of the role and that is what makes him quite easy on the eye.  

Coming to the dark horse of ‘Spaceman’ – Hanus. Voiced by Paul Dano, the giant spider will give you the chills. But when he starts speaking and tries to unravel the trauma held by Jakub, he comes across as friendly. The role feels like a bitter medicine. You know he will dig through Jakub’s pain and make it ugly, but you know it is for the good. Paul Dano makes his character sound like he is your inner voice and conscience.

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‘Spaceman’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Out of the many things ‘Spaceman’ has got right is the cinematography. The story revolves mostly around a spaceship. But they have used this cleverly enough to show the lack of space in the spaceship and the abundance that exists in the universe. The cinematography has done a great job of capturing how alone Jakub is in the wide world. When you think of it, the loneliness will start making your heart sink. The camera work captures the emotions beautifully. Be it in space or on Earth where on one hand people are rooting for Jakub but Lenka has her battles to fight. What’s also interesting is how the makers created Hanus. He looks like a creature that could give you chills. Not once did Hanus look out of place.

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Johan Renck has done a great job with the direction. He has successfully balanced the sci-fi bits of the story with the emotional aspects without one overpowering the other. He has masterfully created a believable universe and a setting that makes you start to question your life. The scenes have been directed tastefully without any additional drama that could potentially weigh the story down. The editing is crisp, and it keeps you glued to the end.

However, what starts to weigh the story down is the script. The first half of the movie showed signs that the story was about to start wandering off, but I kept my hopes up. However, all of this hope was brought down in the second half. The script starts to wander, and you start wondering if all the loose ends will be tied by the end of the movie. As the movie draws to a close, the loose ends are tied up hurriedly. Towards the end, it starts to feel like every other space movie that makes you question about existentialism.

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‘Spaceman’: Cast & Crew

Director: Johan Renck

Writer: Colby Day

Cast: Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Kunal Nayyar, Paul Dano, Lena Olin, Isabella Rossellini

Available On: Netflix

Duration: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

‘Spaceman’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes, with parental guidance.

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Spaceman’ has all the elements that make it look good on paper. The movie boasts a stellar cast, impeccable cinematography, and a story that will leave you with thoughts. But is that enough? Clearly not in this case. There is so much more that the movie could have explored. Towards the end, the makers could have left you with questions on loneliness not just in space but in real life and how humans want affection. But all of that was squandered off for a love story that had nothing in place that could make me root for the couple. The movie is a great one-time watch. I am going with 3 stars.

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