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“Netflix’s ‘Spaceman’ Falls Flat: A Lifeless Space Oddity”

Netflix’s latest sci-fi film, “Spaceman,” has left audiences feeling underwhelmed and disappointed. The movie, adapted from the absurdist Czech novel “Spaceman of Bohemia” by screenwriter Colby Day, fails to live up to its potential despite being directed by Johan Renck, known for his work on the critically acclaimed Chernobyl drama series.

The story revolves around a Czech astronaut named Jakub, played by Adam Sandler, who embarks on a mission to investigate clouds of glowing particles in the far reaches of the galaxy. However, months of isolation in space take a toll on Jakub’s mental state, leading him to hallucinate a giant spider in his spaceship. This arachnid becomes his unlikely confidant, discussing his failing marriage and offering therapeutic advice.

One of the film’s missed opportunities is the absence of Czech actors, which dilutes the comedy derived from the cultural differences between the Czech space mission and its American counterparts. Additionally, the film attempts to pay homage to Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” but falls short of capturing its essence.

Carey Mulligan portrays Lenka, Jakub’s pregnant wife back on Earth. However, her character is severely underdeveloped, leaving viewers questioning the dynamics of their relationship. Isabella Rossellini plays the flight commander at mission control, suppressing Lenka’s video message announcing her departure from Jakub. Unfortunately, both Sandler and Mulligan are deprived of any humorous lines, despite their proven comedic talents.

The film’s most notable character is the enormous spider, voiced by Paul Dano, who addresses Jakub as “skinny human.” However, the humor associated with this talkative arachnid feels forced and lacks the tension and excitement of a true sci-fi thriller. Instead, it comes across as a watered-down version of the iconic Alien franchise.

As Jakub’s spacecraft drifts into the mesmerizing sunset-hued nimbus clouds of stars, he experiences flashbacks of his early relationship with Lenka. These moments attempt to create a transcendent experience reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s style but fall short of achieving the same emotional impact. Lenka’s character, unfortunately, remains poorly written and underdeveloped, leaving audiences unsure of her motivations and feelings towards Jakub.

In the end, “Spaceman” feels like a spaceflight to nowhere. Despite its promising premise and talented cast, the film fails to deliver a compelling narrative or engaging humor. The lack of Czech actors and the underdeveloped characters hinder the audience’s ability to connect with the story on a deeper level. While the visuals may be visually stunning at times, they cannot compensate for the film’s overall lifeless execution.

For sci-fi enthusiasts seeking an existential journey through space, “Spaceman” falls flat and fails to leave a lasting impression. Perhaps it is best to explore other intergalactic adventures that offer a more captivating and thought-provoking experience.


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