Plot: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.
– CONTAINS SPOILERS –
When a movie gets trashed second after it was released, it is safe to assume that it is either:
- The movie is legitimately a terrible film
- The movie didn’t live up to its’ expectations and delivered something else
- The critics hated the film because of some petty reason
Passengers is somewhere between two and three. The film’s last hour and half (perhaps more than that) is a romantic drama film set in space. I’m sure that upset a number of people who might have expected a Sci-Fi film. I also think the hate train might have been loaded to capacity with people reacting unnecessarily harsh to a moderately decent film because everyone was doing so.
The majority of the film is spent exploring Jim Preston and Aurora Lane’s horrified realization that they woke up on their spaceship way too early to reach their destination, Homestead II – 90 years too early. Aurora suffers another setback when she’s made aware by the barman-robot Arthur (Michael Sheen) that Jim (Chris Pratt) deliberately woke her up and that her pod didn’t malfunction. She’s understandably very upset with this death sentence but is forced to put it aside when the ship starts acting erratically and it becomes clear that no one on the ship will arrive at Homestead II if they don’t find the source of the problem. Captain Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburn) wakes up in time to conveniently steer Jim and Aurora in the right direction.
I enjoyed the scarcity of people in Passengers. Chris Pratt and his female equivalent Jennifer Lawrence make a charismatic team. Pratt is able to accurately portray the loneliness of Jim’s life in the year before he wakes Aurora up. Aurora (Lawrence) is different in nature than Jim. She’s a writer and immediately begins to report her life on the ship. She initially refuses to believe their fate and is forced to accept eventually that Jim is speaking the truth. Michael Sheen is able to be a convincing robot, keeping his facial expressions carefully contained. Fishburn is the last character that enters the film was a good captain if you are able to look past the fact that it is amazing that the captain woke up and not someone else. The film is scarcely populated and it works well.
The film also looks really good. That spaceship was something to behold inside and out. It looks modern and is one of the films that bring spaceships to the new century. The swimming pool was mind boggling – I wouldn’t go close to that mass of water that is kept in its’ place by such fragile means. The robots on the ships look great – and a dash of cuteness is mixed into the plot with the housekeeping robots.
What didn’t work? Well, the holes in the plot is bigger than the holes in the spaceship. Are these two really choosing to live on that ship for the remainder of their lives with only the other as company? How will they prevent children? What about the finite amount of food on the ship? Are they dooming their fellow passengers to a journey without food? How did the asteroid not immediately destroy the ship? It is extremely convenient that the fire started becoming unmanageable when they found it? Speaking of extreme convenience, how about the third passenger that woke up is able to access secure locations?
Despite the numerous unanswered questions, of which I’m sure many other bloggers can add more to, I actually ended up enjoying Passengers. I think that the leads were compatible. Jim can be forgiven his selfishness by considering his loneliness. Their heroic antics are heart warming, especially for the following passengers. If you keep your eyes closed and ignore all the questions, I’m sure you will enjoy Passengers too. But what I will end this review with one more question – Why did they change the ship into a swamp at the end?
I think i’m the only person in the world who loved this film 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it though. I certainly didn’t hate it, but there were some things I’d have wanted answered.
Yeah, will wait for this one I reckon!
Not bad, just not what we’d hoped for 😦
Yes we seem to be on the same page with Passengers. There are a ton of plot holes. But on the whole I did enjoy it for what it was. I think this is one of those that’s gonna suffer from the types and the intensity of the expectations that were set for it, kind of like how Elysium, a movie I loved, kinda got trampled when it came out. The thing just wasn’t what people were expecting. And there’s not much the movie can do about that. It is what it is. And for sure I thought this was one of the best looking space movies I’ve ever watched. Loved that ship!
you know what they say about great minds Tom 😉 I enjoyed it as a romantic drama and on a visual level. Definitely agree with you – that ship looked so good and space looked pretty swanky to me!
Your review is perfect, and mirrors exactly how I felt about this movie. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy something, without thinking too deeply about all those plot holes and questions 🙂
The first 20 minutes in particular were so much fun 🙂
Thank you!! I really think people overthink certain movies way too much! Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax with a film. I enjoyed that too! Poor Jim 😀
Do you think it will be a popular rental/download film then?
I’d hope so, it would be sad if this film disappeared
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