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Spaceman Review

Spaceman Review: on Netflix, a so-so Adam Sandler sci-fi

We saw Spaceman, the new Netflix film based on the novel "The Cosmonaut" due out March 1, 2024 starring Adam Sandler: review

In the week of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part 2, a magniloquent and tangible science fiction that along with James Cameron’s Avatar: The Waterway has already marked an era, streaming on Netflix comes Spaceman, a new film starring Adam Sandler in yet another collaboration with the on-demand streaming platform. In a role that is nothing short of unprecedented for his career of great highs and abysmal lows, the star of Uncut Gems and Punch-Drunk Love plays Astronaut Jakub, who has been on a six-month solo research mission to the edge of the solar system: he realizes that the marriage he left behind may no longer be there waiting for him when, and if, he returns to Earth.

In a desperate attempt to settling things with his wife Lenka (played by Carey Mulligan, seen recently also on Netflix with Bradley Cooper’s Maestro) despite himself accepts the help of a mysterious creature from the beginning of time that he finds hidden in the bowels of his ship: Hanuš, a spidery being (voiced by Paul Dano) who appears aboard the spaceship and somehow becomes Jakub’s friend by helping him make sense of what went wrong in his life before. Unfortunately, however, the film, based on the novel The Cosmonaut by Jaroslav Kalfař, does not fully convince.

Spaceman, Netflix official trailer

Spaceman: a great Adam Sandler is not enough.

Space Oddity directed by Jonah Renck, author of Chernobyl for HBO but active mainly in the field of music videos (including those of Lazarus and Blackstar, not exactly coincidentally the last two funereal and somber singles of David Bowie), is a very sad opera about a love story that functions as a Greek tragedy or, indeed, opera, with strong references to the Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák, which succeeds better in the expression of feelings than in their staging, which is decidedly ambitious and equally pompous.

Fortunately, there is an Adam Sandler as usual very good even in a role so different from his standards, imploded, motionless and almost always mute or at least reticent to dialogue in the role of this Ulysses of the stars who realizes too late that he misses his Ithaca and especially Penelope.

Spaceman Adam Sandler

Spaceman has few means to fulfill his lysergic claims, one among them the perspective distortions of the images to stage memories and the unconscious: a great video clip idea that succeeds the first time, convinces the second, bores the third, and hammers from the fourth onward. James Gray’s Astra, with which several similarities can be found, was quite another matter, without going so far as to bother Solaris.

In this regard, the beautiful lo-fi setting with post-Soviet setting by Spaceman – reminiscent not only of the masterpiece of Andrei Tarkovsky but also the best of the uchrony of the TV show For All Mankind – suggests a work with a budget far in excess of what was concretely made available for Johan Renck’s crew (as opposed to the low quality of the CGI). The latter, however, demonstrates at least a personal approach to feature film forms, leaving us curious about a hypothetical second work. The greatest strength, however, is surely this increasingly self-effacing Adam Sandler, capable of embodying the meaning of the film almost more than the film itself.

Matteo Regoli

critica i film, poi gli chiede scusa si occupa di cinema, e ne è costantemente occupato è convinto che nello schermo, a contare davvero, siano le immagini porta avanti con poca costanza Fatti di Cinema, blog personale

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