Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: Three movies in one. All work ok. Good chemistry between Pratt and Lawrence.
“Passengers” is a fun movie but one that can’t commit to what it wants to be. It starts with an interesting if incredibly far fetched premise. What happens if an interstellar colony ship malfunctions and one of the stasis capsules lets a passenger out 90 years before the ship is to arrive? You have to completely ignore the fact that any series of failures like the ship experienced would definitely wake up crew members to deal with the problems. After all, that’s their job. Regardless, that’s exactly what happens to Jim Preston (Chris Pratt). What follows is your typical stranded on a desert island scenario only on a ship surrounded by 5,000 sleeping humans and all of your other needs taken care of as well. With only the android bartender, Arthur (Michael Sheen), as company, Jim slowly starts going insane as he tries to think of ways to wake the crew or put himself back to sleep.
After a year of living alone and creeping ever closer to insanity, Jim gets company in the form of Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). I don’t really have much to say about this portion of the movie except that Pratt and Lawrence have good chemistry together and it’s fun to watch Jim and Aurora getting to know each other and falling in love. Then there is this great horrible reveal that tears Jim and Aurora apart and the movie finds itself in a bit of a tangle. There’s nowhere to go. You have a ship falling apart and the two people alive can’t be in the same room together and they have no way of fixing the ship. So enter crewmember Gus Mancuso (Lawrence Fishburne) whose stasis chamber also malfunctioned. What a stroke of luck. Gus’ sole purpose is to give them access to parts of the ship they couldn’t get to before. That function done, he gives a nice pep talk and dies. Jim and Aurora then start scouring the ship for what is broken before the ship goes kablooey. Do they fix it in time? I guess you’ll have to tune in to find out.
I have a lot of problems with the end of the movie because of the questions that went unanswered, but the movie ended so abruptly that you don’t really get to process it. Other than that, this movie is just fine. It’s a decent enough date movie and there’s some nice effects and technological wonders. It’s two hours spent well even if it is not terribly groundbreaking.