Reviewed by: bastardswordsman
If you followed the story upon which this film is based closely, then I would have trouble recommending this film, although it is bound to provoke interest.
The problem I have is with the inevitable dramatisation of the occurrence to unbelievable levels. I don't blame the filmmakers, for what it is, STOWAWAY is an almost worthwhile film, though parts are too much to stomach/swallow. This is a real shame, because some of the interim sequences, as well as the final 10 minutes of this picture are handled sensitively and are quite thought-provoking, without becoming melodramatic or sentimental.
With a little more care and attention, STOWAWAY could have been a brilliant piece of cinema. It's hardly a dull subject matter, so why treat it as such?
Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Summary: Could be better, but WORTH seeing.
Stowaway more than anything should be seen just to get a clearer knowledge of terrible triad operations that are run world-wide. This film is based on the true story of a group of illegal Chinese immigrants trying to get to England to lead a better life. This is an everyday story in triad operations, but one of the rare occasions where things went terribly bad and ended up with pretty much everyone dead. If anyone is not aware of the story that happened during 2000 (and this was covered world-wide) then it is well worth seeing this too. Through months of uncomfortable travel, these people had to suffer a lot, and by the time the group of 60 reached Dover (main port in England) only 2 had survived when the lorry they were travelling in was stopped at customs. If you know the story already, then you will probably know that the lorry driver is now in prison for about 8 years, and some of the triad leaders are serving time too. It is a very sad story as is this film, and although some of the emotions are over exaggerated, it is an excellent portrayal of this tragedy.
The main problem with this is the terrible low budget resulting in poor dubbing and production. All the vehicle scenes (car chases or not) are terribly sped up, and I mean terribly. Because of that, it drags it down as far as filmmaking goes, and I wish that this story could have been turned into a high quality film that should be shown world-wide. Still, dont let that turn you off, this film really must be seen.
If you are not keen on dramas, especially very sad ones, then this might not be for you, but is still worth seeing if you get the chance.
(This rating is based on the genre and other films made in the same year)