So i wasn’t particularly excited for this but i was a little intrigued by the star power of it’s leads and it was directed by Mortem Tyldum who helmed the excellent The Imitation Game. It’s mixed reviews didn’t put me off either and after seeing it myself i was pretty underwhelmed by it’s story and it’s two lead characters.
The trailer showcased the chemistry between Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and the movie proves that without a doubt that these two enjoy each others company. Unfortunately there isn’t anything particularly special about these two which in turn made me not care for their dilemma, they don’t really strike many notes to keep you engaged with the story. The premise is fairly reminiscent of James Cameron’s iconic Titanic. They’re doomed lovers on a voyage to a distant planet where they’re kept in hibernation for 120 years, only they wake up 90 years too soon and have to figure out a way to get back to sleep or they’ll die long before they reach their destination.
Jennifer Lawrence is the more accomplished performer between her and Pratt, she carries this indominable spirit that would make it almost impossible for her to be completely vulnerable. Pratt does his best to imbue his Jim Parsons character with plenty of depth. The plot twist that happens in the first act is a moral dilemma that would’ve served better in the latter half of the movie which apparently in the original script was in the 3rd act. The moral dilemma is problematic to be made aware at this point because it’s quite uncomfortable to sit with for a long period of time, than again I suppose it may have ended the movie on a more sour note. The movie addresses the plot twist directly but is seemingly lenient making things justifiable when it’s just plain wrong overall. It’s somewhat of a cautionary tale to scientists who’ve considered doing such an expedition and makes me not rely on technology too much
The production design and visual effects is as great as it should be and that’s where this movie succeeds in it’s visual splendor. I saw this in 3D which didn’t really add much of the experience.
The romanticism is what carries the movie mostly and it’s not often i hear of a Sci-Fi romance thriller, but it borrows elements from The Shining and Alien that isn’t really effective.
I’m not sure if there’s anyone as charming as Micheal Sheen, he’s a deadpan delight as the android waiter Arthur. He’s by far my favourite aspect of this movie. Laurence Fishburne is serviceable at best as the chief desk officer, Capt Gus Mancuso who aids the protagonists in a dire situation, and Andy Garcia who is barely in this movie shows up for a head scratching 5 seconds.
In the end Passengers was underwhelming for me, not terrible by any means as it has it’s moments. I’d recommend it still but don’t expect too much fulfilment.