Review of 'Passengers'

passengers.jpg When technician Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is accidentally woken from hibernation 30 years into a 120 year voyage to a distant colony planet, “Homestead”, he finds himself alone with no chance of returning to sleep on the ship that rejects his insistence of any problem. Wandering the empty corridors he finds himself desperately lonely when he comes up with a plan to awaken another passenger for company. He is troubled by this plan as he knows full well that any person he wakens will be doomed to die on the ship, like himself, well before they arrive at Homestead. How would he explain to this person what he has done and how would they react? His companion he decides will be an attractive woman, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), but whether or not there are two of them the ship containing 5,000 passengers starts exhibiting system failures that may mean they will all perish long before the journey is over…

A great premise and well executed bit of SF. Pratt, often put down as simply a great comedic actor, does a great job portraying the much more serious role of conflicted passenger trying to get out of an impossible situation. He ponders the consequences of his actions long and hard before finally acting. This and the added pressure of the imminent destruction of the ship pushes what could have been a dark, moody picture into something a bit more involved: What will he do next? I have to say I did find his eventual technological knowledge a bit hard to swallow but this is really only a minor quibble in an otherwise spotless narrative.

Do not read this paragraph if you want to know a key plot point. Stopped reading? Don't say I didn't warn you: The introduction of Aurora into the dynamic really brings the story to life as the two explore their rather difficult relationship with one another and the inevitable reveal of how exactly Aurora was woken from sleep. The wealthier woman and the working-class man coupling many would doom to failure but seems to work with the utterly convincing efforts of the principle actors: The situation is out of their control yet they have to somehow, bring it to control to save themselves and the rest of the ship.

The effects are amazing and really give you a sense of what such a future might be like particularly with the irony of a cruise-spaceship having all of the conveniences yet unable to help a stranded passenger in an emergency - Technology protecting us from ourselves yet dooming us at the same time. The spaceship is clean and the space sequences incredible - Again, utterly convincing.

A great SF yarn featuring a modern screen favourite. A lot more exciting than you might think and keeps you guessing right to the final moments.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2019-07-06

Directed by: Morten Tyldum

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Year: 2016

Length: 116 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Morten Tyldum: