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“I.S.S.” Review

I.S.S.: Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. With Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr., Masha Mashkova. Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station as a conflict breaks out on Earth. Reeling, the U.S. and Russian astronauts receive orders from the ground: take control of the station by any means necessary.

If you ever want to show someone what “foreshadowing” is or are in need of some great examples of “Chekhov’s gun”, then buddy have I great news for you, as I think this movie sets up the most dominoes I’ve ever seen in a film in the first act, then hits all of them down in the third. I’m a huge fan of such things, even when there’s a few that the actors involved might as well be turning to the camera and winking, specifically at the point that the main character finds a science experiment all fouled up and asks “oh why would you do this to each other”. We already know there’s a distinct aurora of paranoia and distrust between the two crews, at least we do if you saw any of the trailers, so maybe it would have been better to go in blind instead of knowing exactly what was coming?

Regardless of how heavy handed they were with the foreshadowing, I absolutely loved the end result of a film that suggested there was an apocalypse happening down below, then proceeded to follow through on that suggestion in an interesting way. The only real negative aspect was their version of zero gravity, which at times felt like they were in a boat that was rocking from side to side and it seemed the characters were swaying when zero-G would likely have them just drifting away. If you can get past the suspected line work though, this is another fine film to add to the “space station in distress” genre.

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