Sunday, August 07, 2022

Stowaway, Co-Starring Frank Grillo

The Bella is not as big as those Russian oligarchs’ yachts with helicopter ports and bowling alleys, but it is still more boat than most people could handle or afford. It therefore comes as quite a surprise to Bella Denton when she inherits it from her estranged father and even more of a shock when it is hijacked with her aboard in Declan Whitebloom’s Stowaway (a.k.a. The Yacht), which is now playing in New York.

Denton has lived a hard punky life, but apparently her late father wanted to make up for it. According to his dodgy business partner, Ed Meeser, Bella is now the owner of the Bella—or at least she will be in the morning, once certain maritime probate issues are cleared. Therefore, she is not allowed to crash there overnight, but she does so anyway when she picks up free-spirited Michael at the marina bar.

Of course, it all comes down to a cat-and-mouse game between Denton and the mercenary brothers who hijacked the luxury yacht. However, she might have an ally in Lawson, her father’s loyal captain, whom the hijackers forced to assist their scheme.

Ruby Rose is becoming a specialist in direct-to-VOD action movies, with mixed results.
The Doorman is a lot of fun and SAS: Red Notice also has its merits, but Vanquish is almost unwatchable. Unfortunately, Stowaway is closer in quality to the latter than the former two. Perhaps most problematically, Denton is not established as any kind of credibly trained action protag, just a former delinquent, who picked up a few moves in juvy.

Ian Hayden’s screenplay also takes way too long to get going and it lacks a big, satisfying action centerpiece. The key-art clearly implies Meeser is a bad guy, but even if viewers haven’t seen it, the small cast of characters makes it blindingly obvious. Plus, it is rather tiresome to see the Coast Guard portrayed as totally unintuitive incompetents.

Rose is fine as Denton and even hints at some decent chemistry with Patrick Schwarzenegger’s dopey Michael. However, only Frank Grillo delivers any memorable lines, with his typical flair, as the sleazy Meeser. Grillo always elevates everything he appears in, including mediocre, formulaic stuff like this.

Even by action VOD movie standards,
Stowaway just isn’t very good. There is nothing to set it apart and very little actual action (which is a serious drawback). Not recommended, Stowaway is now playing in New York, at the Cinema Village.