Passengers


Viewed – 16 May 2017  online-rental

I don’t think it can be argued that Chris Pratt is currently on a role.  He’s pretty much the darling of Hollywood right now and has delivered enjoyable performance after enjoyable performance, most notably in his two Guardians of the Galaxy outings.  The same can probably also be said of Jennifer Lawrence who also seems to do no wrong.  Both are charming, good looking stars so sitting down to this space-set adventure was an easy prospect, helped I must add by my love of all things sci-fi.

Passengers

A space station on a 90 year journey to reach an earth-like planet suddenly starts to malfunction, and one ‘passenger’ on board (Pratt) wakes up decades too soon, and quickly realises he might be doomed to a life of solitude and possible madness.  However as time progresses, he’s joined by fellow passenger Aurora (Lawrence) and together they try to exist and adjust to their potentially grim fate.

This is a great premise and I was easily absorbed into both character’s plight.  Think Robinson Crusoe in space and you get what this one’s going for, whilst also throwing in some heart-breaking dilemmas and powerful emotional drama that really surprised and pulled me in.  Pratt is excellent as is Lawrence who are supported well by an android Michael Sheen who brings his inimitable style and class to proceedings.  Helps also that Pratt & Lawrence have convincing chemistry, which made later scenes even more effective.  However amongst the drama there is also a lot of fun to be had, especially with the amusing ways Pratt initially tries to cope (although thankfully Pratt’s gratuitous butt shots are counter-balanced by a couple of lingering Lawrence swimsuit moments) … and with some superb CGI and an epic, at times ominous setting I really got a lot out of this.

The only real issue is pacing, as the story tends to drag its heels a little here and there.  For such a large space station too, it failed to really develop as a setting you haven’t seen a dozen times before, perhaps in need of a bit more eeriness.  However, with solid performances and a thrilling final act … I just have to recommend this one.

Verdict:  4 /5

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3 thoughts on “Passengers

  1. Whoops. 4 out of 5 is a bit generous. This film starts out well but falls apart towards the end, lacking the emotional wallop it should have. Its a thoughtful concept movie posing as as a blockbuster and it loses a lot with all that cgi distraction. Besides which theres just too much Wall-E and Titanic bleeding into the film. Shame really. Maybe it should have been longer, with more character beats? And certainly less ‘big’.

    Pratt is fine but I’m beginning to tire of him bringing the same personna to every role.

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    • Interesting points although I’d disagree with your point of the ending not having an emotional wallop…I thought it really delivered in it’s closing moments. Thanks for your comment though.

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  2. Hmm, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more with less popular/ ‘A’ list actors (and consequently it being a smaller, less ‘blockbuster’ movie). It certainly has an interesting premise, but I guess I would have preferred a more intimate, almost arthouse-style movie- thats simply a personal preference, wouldnt neccessary make for a better movie.

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