SYNOPSIS: Six months into a solitary research mission to the edge of the solar system, an astronaut, Jakub (Adam Sandler), realizes that the marriage he left behind might not be waiting for him when he returns to Earth. Desperate to fix things with his wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan), he is helped by a mysterious creature from the beginning of time he finds hiding in the bowels of his ship. Hanuš (voiced by Paul Dano) works with Jakub to make sense of what went wrong before it is too late. 


Space can be a scary place to venture to. You might perhaps encounter a ferocious alien along the way. Perhaps debris might caused your entire shuttle to explode or worse, you might end up trapped in a wormhole.

Nothing is certain in space and in Spaceman, Adam Sandler plays a Czech astronaut Jakub who is on his last lap of his six months mission to investigate the Chopra cloud. However, his relations with his pregnant wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan) has soured over the months and days and as a result, Jakub is feeling sort of edgy and depressed. Meanwhile, a ground crew member, Peter (Kunal Nayyar) is concerned about Jake’s well-being and he can only assures Jakub that Lenka is mainly having issues with the comm system.

From the beginning of time comes a wise, talking space spider (voiced by Paul Dano from The Batman and Dumb Money) who decides to spend his remaining time in space counselling Jakub and opening his mind to his past and present while sharing Czech version of Nutella with each other.

Spaceman is not exactly that kind of entertaining, adventurous “space” movie even though it stars a very famous comedian. Definitely, it’s not on the level of The Martian, Gravity or rather, it’s more gear towards dramatic flair liked Ad Astra. The movie is set mostly inside the claustrophobic cabin with occasional flashbacks to Jake’s past involving the difficult relationship with his father and his rocky love life with Lenka.

For the entire duration, Spaceman feels like a prolonged counselling session between a tortured astronaut and his psychiatrist, just that the latter is in spider form. Paul Dano’s soothing voiceover can be a double-edged sword as it nearly puts this reviewer to sleep multiple times. Mulligan agains plays a complicated woman after Maestro though the narrative doesn’t grant Lenka a more fulfilling arc.

Juggling his time between his Happy Madison productions and the occasional serious dramas, Sandler delivers an effective, endearing performance but it’s strictly letdown by the monotonous, aloof narrative. If you feel Interstellar is a bloated, mind-blogging mess, then perhaps Spaceman might well be it’s companion piece. Only this time, you have an eight-legged creature to join you in outer space.


Review by Linus Tee