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Spaceman follows Jakub who is six months into a solo mission and growing lonelier and more depressed by the day. At least he has a giant spider for company!

“I always wanted you to go into space, man,” sang Babylon Zoo back in 1996. But Adam Sandler isn’t an ‘intergalactic Christ’ and his mission to explore a mysterious nebula by Jupiter is marred by more than an unexpected pitch shift.

Spider haters, look away now.

Yes, it’s the space spider movie. The low whispery tones of Paul Dano may be coming out of its mouth, but it’s a huge space spider.

Floating off like a detached oddity, Spaceman is less skin crawler more hour and a half therapy session.

This large extraterrestrial arachnid didn’t bring it’s own reclined sofa, but you may need one to get through this movie.

Plot Of Spaceman

Jakub (Sandler) is lonely. By accepting the mission to investigate the strange distant nebula (which is visible in the night sky on Earth) he has left behind his pregnant wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan).

Yet their relationship was already strained before he accepted the year long mission, currently in its sixth month.

Now with his calls home being ignored, Jakub’s mental state is fraying at the edges.

Less Alien more Ad Astra, Spaceman zeroes in on the existential and personal torment of Jakub, with the emptiness of space the usual visual metaphor.

Muted line delivery and a score that consists of reverberating synths and strings create a morose atmosphere throughout.

Spaceman picks one emotional point and pretty much sticks to it for 90 minutes.


How Bad Is It?

The result is a sluggish affair that drifts around pedestrian characteristics. The relationship between Jakub and Lenka never threatens to bubble over from ‘emotionally closed off man is emotionally closed off’ and no amount of flashbacks or eight-legged psycho-therapy ever invests us in their lives.

Despite this, in Spaceman Sandler once again proves his dramatic chops. The movie works best in Sandler’s descent into depression, and later connection to the alien spider he names Hanuš.

Hanuš, we are told through the quiet murmurings of Dano, is intrigued by Jakub’s loneliness. Wishing to learn more about humans, Hanuš uses an innate psychic power to view Jakub’s memories, and help him live through them with fresh eyes.

Although a giant space spider will be enough to repulse some from even firing up this film, where the saturnine tone of Spaceman works best are the moments between Jakub and Hanuš.

Even with an unreadable spider expression, Sandler’s growing dependency on someone he can actually talk to provides all the (few and far between) moments of emotional intimacy.

Sadly though Spaceman lacks stakes and energy. It drones on in a way almost guaranteed to leave you drifting off to sleep on the sofa.

The hackneyed sci-fi element of the ending is as unsatisfying as Jakub’s belated personal epiphany. For a film dedicated to deep diving into its protagonist’s mind, all we get out of it is a need to turn back none the wiser.

Words by Mike Record


  • Sandler's Performance
  • Moments of Connection
  • Looks Pretty


  • Monotone Delivery
  • Very Sleep Inducing
  • Hard To Care About Jakub's Relationship
  • Spider!!


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