‘If you live an ordinary life, all you’ll have are ordinary stories…’
You know that annoying feeling when you wake up just before your alarm? *adopts cheesy trailer voice* Try waking up too early… 90 years too early.
Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) awakes aboard a huge space vessel bound for a distant planet that is capable of supporting human life. In a nod to The Shining, it appears his only companion is an android barkeeper (Michael Sheen) and a bunch of cute cleaning bots until Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) also wakes up.
There are so many things wrong with Passengers it is difficult to know where to begin. Lets start with the fact that it is so damned humourless. And I don’t mean dark, just lacking in humour. The Martian showed us that a film that is mostly just Matt Damon wandering around talking to himself could still be genuinely hilarious. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are both funny and intelligent actors, the script they are given to work with here is an insult to both of them. The plot is kind of interesting but it is undermined by *spoilers* the fact that after Preston completely ruins Lane’s life by selfishly waking her up early just so he can pound her, she then gets wind of his nefarious plan and still falls in love with him anyway. Ludicrous. And that is without mentioning the fact that the chances of the only two people to inhabit a massive spaceship also being two of the most beautiful looking humans ever are slim to none.
That being said, the first half of the movie is pretty good, particularly the scenes featuring Sheen who does a fine job as the Lloyd to Pratt’s Jack Torrance. Once we have established a set up however, there is nowhere really left for the film to go. By the time the inevitable conflict happens I was more interested in making and eating sandwiches than what happens to the characters in Passengers.
Director Morten Tyldum hasn’t made a boring movie with Passengers, but he has made a dumb one. He has also achieved the impossible by somehow making Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt unlikeable. Some of the best movies to come out of Hollywood in the last decade have been sci-fi flicks. Watch one of those instead.