Passengers is the story of a man trapped alone on a spaceship after a meteor hits the ship and wakes him from his capsule. It’s a sci-fi love story put to the test of space, time and moral ambiguity. It stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, which I mean how could you go wrong? I could watched these two on the big screen for hours. But sadly this film seems to fizzle out about half way through. Although beautiful and funny at times it’s hard to really care about how this film ends and it’s predictable.
Jim Preston, played by Chris Pratt wakes out of suspended animation 90 years too early after being asleep for 30 years on his way to Homestead II, a new planet waiting to be colonized. He’s aboard the Avalon spaceship where there are 250 sleeping crew members and 5,000 passengers. Apparently the colonization of other planets is big business in the future. This commercial ship is equipped with a dining area, basketball court, swimming pool, arcade and luxury suites. There is also a fully stocked bar with a lovely android bartender played by Michael Sheen that is almost reminiscent of the Shining, you know… without all of the blood, ghosts and snow. Passengers does an incredible job of being a science fiction movie in the future, while making you feel like you are continuously walking through a food court in an abandoned shopping mall.
The first 45 minutes run a lot like The Martian. A single man trying to figure out a way home or to go back into suspended animation but he keeps coming up short. To be honest Chris Pratt is a really good actor and I think he could have carried this movie all by himself. His interaction with the ship and Arthur, the bartender are pretty funny at times. But he shows a more dramatic and believable side in this film when it came to grieving for his own isolated seemingly doomed existence. After about a year, Jim Preston stumbles upon a sleeping Aurora played by Jennifer Lawrence and the moral questions start to arise. Does he wake her so he doesn’t have to live out this fate alone? Or does he let her sleep sentencing himself to a life of isolation? I will save you the time just like the previews did, he wakes her.
Now we have these two characters trying to figure out their lives, living with each other and coming to terms that they will never make it to their destination. Things seem to be going good for our couple for awhile but the question is always looming… Does Aurora ever find out that Jim woke her up on purpose essentially sealing her fate for his own selfish reasons? There is one scene in this film that bothers me that some might consider this a SPOILER but I need to get it off my chest (so skip to the next paragraph if you care). But at one point Jim proposes to Aurora. WHY??? This shouldn’t bother me but it does. There is literally no one else for the rest of their lives. So what exactly is the need for this lame commitment. It’s funny when he asks her out on their first date, but the marriage proposal is so unnecessary and really cheesy and that’s all I need to say about that I suppose.
There are some parts of this film that you want to be really incredible. Like the space walk for instance. It’s good but it doesn’t blow your mind. I think that is in part because this movie feels more like an infomercial for and outer space cruise line. Everything is designed to keep the guests happy, so even the space walk seemed like a Disney World attraction instead of an incredible once in a lifetime experience. It’s also hard to stay interested after awhile because this movie tends to drone on. I understand the need to show monotony in this film but it felt like a shameless plug to keep seeing J Law in her white swimming suit. I’m not complaining, she is beautiful, but come on! Chris Pratt had to have gone swimming more than once, why weren’t we seeing that over and over again? I DEMAND more Chris Pratt swimming suit time! But I digress.
Passengers wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s a love story set in outer space. Not an action packed Sci-fi thriller we were all wanting.
The acting is great who doesn’t love Pratt, Lawrence or even Michael Sheen for that matter? The story is OK to a point and the filming is good. But there are some pointless cameos in it that I won’t spoil. And because of that I can only believe that there may be a sequel in our future. This movie being what it was would have been much better had we seen how Jim and Aurora live out their lives on the ship but maybe we get to see that later. This is a good movie to curl up on the couch and watch but save yourself the time of going to see it in the theater.