Spaceman (2024) | Review

2024. R. 107 mins. Directed by Johan Renck

Spaceman is the latest Netflix vehicle starring Adam Sandler. It is also another foray into the dramatic side of acting for the comedian. Whenever Sandler decides to stray away from his comfort zone, it usually means we're in for a good performance. Whether it's Punch Drunk-Love, Reign Over Me or Uncut Gems, when Sandler tries, he can put out a really great performance. In Spaceman, this is no different. We get another truly great performance from Adam Sandler. Unfortunately, it's a shame that the rest of the movie doesn't stack up the same way.

Jakub (Adam Sandler) is halfway through his solo mission on the edge of the solar system. When he decided to go on this mission he also decided that he would be leaving his wife Lenka (Carey Mulligan), who is also pregnant with their child. While soaring through space Jakub continually thinks about the state of his marriage as he and Lenka were having their fair share of problems when he was back home. Now being on this mission, it is taking a bigger toll on their relationship. One night, Jakub is visited by a creature (voiced by Paul Dano) that claims to be from the beginning of time. This creature helps Jakub in ways he never would have expected.

The entire movie is filmed incredibly. Every set piece, especially the scenes on the spaceship, looks fantastic. Director Johan Renck really knows how to craft a shot and the cinematography is a highlight of the movie. As far as the rest of the direction goes, it feels like Renck drops the ball. He is able to get some good performances out of the few actors in the movie, especially Adam Sandler. Everything else feels like it falls flat. It is an intriguing concept, but the storyline doesn't feel like it ever fully comes together and there could have been more to explore. The biggest flaw here is that the pacing feels completely off. Clocking in at an hour and forty-seven minutes, the movie feels like it is well over two hours and that is not a good thing.

Because of the slow pacing the story never feels engaging. Once Jakub meets the creature things should start to spark more but they never do. The design of the creature, who is basically just a giant spider, looks great and the effects with him do look quite good. It unfortunately doesn't amount to much as the creature mostly just feels like a plot device. Everyone else in the cast does a fine job here, however they all are more or less wasted. They all do what they can but none of them are given much to do and are all there just to support Sandler.

In the end, Spaceman is beautiful to look at and it features another great dramatic performance from Adam Sandler. The rest of the movie is a mixed bag with a rather lackluster story, some terrible pacing and a mostly wasted supporting cast. This had so much potential but is a perfect example of great potential with poor execution.

Rating: 5/10