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'ISS' review: Ariana DeBose and Chris Messina in a tense thriller about warring astronauts

As the war in Ukraine creates increasing tension between the United States and Russia, one wonders how it will affect relationships among astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Are they ignoring geopolitical conflicts and focusing on their responsibilities? Will they argue endlessly about where their respective countries stand? Or are they really trying to murder each other?

That last premise forms the basis of Gabriela Copperthwaite’s tense thriller, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Nick Shafir’s screenplay (which was blacklisted for the Best Unproduced Screenplay of the Year) involves six astronauts — three The Americans, the three Russians – working together harmoniously before it became apparent that war broke out between the two countries. The Americans received instructions from NASA: “Your new goal is to control the International Space Station. By any means necessary.” The question is, did the Russian cosmonauts receive the same message?


The Bottom Line Turns out in space, they can hear you scream.

Place: Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight Narrative) Cast : Ariana DeBose , Chris Messina , Pilou Ass Baker John Gallagher Jr. , Martha Mashkova, Directed by Costa Ronin : Gabriella Cowperthwaite
Screenwriter : Nick Shafier 1 hour minutes

The answer becomes quite clear after Gordon (Chris Messina) leaves the universe The ship undergoes repairs, but things don’t quite go as planned. It soon becomes apparent that his American co-workers Kira (Ariana DeBose) and Christian (John Gallagher Jr.) are working with their Russian counterpart Veronica (Masha Mashkova, Struggle for survival for all mankind ), Alexey ( Pilou Asbaek (Borgen, Game of Thrones ) and Nichola Pulov (Costa Ronin, The Americans ). Complicating matters is the fact that Gordon and Veronica have been in a secret romantic relationship, which Might be hard to pull off on a space mission.

Filmmaker, working in unfamiliar territory (she previously directed this documentary black fish and drama

Megan Levy and our friends ) Brilliantly elevating the suspense of a sure-to-be claustrophobic thriller that benefits immensely from its novel setting. The characters are suspended in mid-air as they run wildly around the space station , instead of running. And when the violence finally erupts in zero-gravity conditions, the spurted blood droplets float in the air like Yayoi Kusama’s concept art installation.

Although the thin narrative does not Not quite succeeding in sustaining the movie’s feature-length running time even at its relatively short 2020 minutes, Shafir’s script Enough twists are offered to keep interest. While the characterization isn’t particularly deep, the actors do their best to fill in the gaps. Gallagher Jr. and DeBose are especially good at a quiet and disturbing scene that simply involves making a sandwich.

Considering her other screen appearances are mostly limited to musicals, it’s nice to see DeBose take on the role in a very different kind of film, which offers the opportunity to showcase her range. provides an excellent dramatic turn, all the more effective with its restraint. Her stellar effort is complemented by the rest of the cast, including Messina, who has been ubiquitous on screen lately, and Asbeck, who provides amusing shade as the Russian cosmonaut clashes to fulfill his orders.

relatively low budget ISS Lack of high octane like Gravity, it’s sometimes hard not to wish this was a more extravagant production. But the movie works well as the kind of high-concept B-movie that was once a mainstay of the double feature, even if it wasn’t necessarily the ideal recruiting tool for NASA.

Full credits 1004924

Venue: Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight Narrative) Production company: LD Entertainment Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris May Cina, Pilu Asbeck, John Gallagher Jr., Martha Mashkova, Costa Ronin Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite Writer: Nick Shafir Producers: Pete Shilaimon, Mickey Liddell Executive Producers: Mehrdod Heydari, Jacob Yakob, Michael Glassman, Joseph Yakob, Alison Semenza King Director of Photography: Nick Remy Matthews Art Director: Jeff Wallace Editors: Colin Patton, Richard Mettler Costume designer: Robbie McKeithan Composer: Annie NikitinCasting: Joseph Middleton 1 hour minute

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