Any theatrical release starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt is going to do exceptionally well in the box office and if you throw a big-budget science fiction plot and effects, it is sure to gain some traction and a massive audience. 2016’s Passengers, directed by Morten Tyldum, is a movie that had a lot of wonderful moments, great potential and some huge issues.
Characters Aurora Lane (Lawrence) and Jim Preston (Pratt) wake up too early from cryogenic sleep aboard the Avalon, a 5000 passenger spaceship on a 150-year journey from Earth to Homestead II. The 5000 people aboard are destined to contribute to the colonisation of the new planet. 80 years into the voyage, Preston and Lane wake up. They’re left to find out why, save the rest of the passengers and learn how to live an excruciatingly lonely life aboard the empty ship.
The premise is excellent and attempts to be an Interstellar-meets-Wally of film, but pales in comparison to both. Instead, Passengers has stunning visuals, great costuming, a not-so-terrible soundtrack and some excellent acting, but the plot holes and utter disregard for things that make logical sense ruins one’s suspension of belief.
Pratt and Lawrence work extremely well together as actors and their dynamic relationship works to (thankfully) avoid a boy saves girl cliche. Despite this, the filmmakers felt it necessary to show the audience an astounding number of sex and swimsuit scenes. Such scenes can be well done when they serve the plot — to show luxury or the building of relationships, for instance — but given that the pair spend years trying to survive together on an empty spaceship was not a significant use of screen time
Passengers is a watchable film, but it is by no means a good film. The film will likely live on amongst the pile of 25 per cent off Blu-Ray films in your local Best Buy sale bin.