ISS – Lackluster Thriller Goes to Space

ISS Movie Review

The actual idea of going to space is terrifying on its own. If you make it to your destination, you’re in a different environment and can be left completely helpless if things go wrong. And it’s those simple fears that ISS is trying to bank on. Tapping into the primal fears of the audience that they may not know that they have. But does the movie actually deliver on any of that?

Meeting up with the Russian astronauts that are aboard the ISS, a team of American astronauts head to space to continue doing their own research projects. Although they receive a mostly friendly reception, it doesn’t take long for things to go wrong. While taking in the view in the cupola, the team sees that war has broken out on Earth. Both teams independently receive orders from their home base to take over the space station at any cost before they lose all contact with the world below. And in no time, a war between the two teams take place in the enclosed space station as the teams are fighting for their lives.

The initial premise of ISS is actually terrifying. Trapped in a space where people you don’t really know could and want may kill you – and there’s no way anyone will know or can help. But the movie seems to be lacking on the thrills and ends up being a lot more predictable than you would hope. Instead, as is usually the case, the most intense parts of the story and parts that would cause your anxiety to rise are all shown in the trailer.

If the trailer for the movie causes you anxiety – don’t worry you’ll be able to watch the movie just fine – you’ve seen the worst of it. But when it comes to delivering on the anxiety once the movie gets going… the movie falls short. Instead, you have an hour and a half of predictable moments and reactions to situations you can expect. What else would you do in the same situation? Maybe that is the point, it’s supposed to make you feel like you could be in that situation, but really, it seems like a bit of lazy writing if they can’t actually deliver the story.

Is the possibility of another world war something that will scare audience members? With the way things are in the world right now – absolutely. But even this the movie seems to fumble a bit. War is breaking out on the Earth below while the two teams of astronauts are in the space station. With communication cut off, of course, things seem dire. But when it is restored, suddenly the survivors can come back to Earth. The war happening on Earth isn’t resolved, and yet, they hop in the shuttle to go home? Where are they going and what is the result of the war in just a couple of days? Is this, again, lazy writing – or a not-so-veiled attempt to get a sequel and start a franchise?

It just seems like the movie has more plot holes and sloppy writing points than stars in the sky. But if you’re in the mood for a lackluster thriller out in the great beyond – ISS might just be the movie for you.

ISS is in theaters this weekend.

Overall Rating:

Three and a Half Stars Review

About ISS

Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station as a worldwide conflict breaks out on Earth. Reeling, the US and Russian astronauts aboard each receive orders from the ground: take control of the station by any means necessary. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite brings together a stellar cast including Academy Award®-winner Ariana DeBose in this high-stakes space thriller.


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