Columbia Pictures presents its new film “Passengers,” which will leave viewers wondering how a movie with such high expectations could produce such disappointing results.
Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is a passenger on a 120- year trip on the spaceship Avalon from Earth to another planet called Homestead II. When his hibernation pod wakes him up 90 years too early, he lives alone on the ship (well not completely alone, he is accompanied by a robot bartender Arthur with a creepy smile) for over a year, his beard growing longer and longer, his withdrawal from mocha cappuccino extremes becoming drastic, and his sanity slipping away (he spends a lot of time banging a door and hugging space suits). On one of his walks through the sleeping passengers, he comes across writer Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) in her hibernation pod. He becomes obsessed with her as time goes on, eating all meals next to her pod and reading all of her writing (essentially stalking her), and eventually decides to hack her pod and wake her up. As it seems inevitable that the ship will blow up if it’s not fixed soon, Jim and Aurora must work together to solve its malfunction and save the over 5,000 passengers still sleeping.
As the movie progresses, Jim’s and Aurora’s relationship takes many twists and turns; one minute they’re deeply in love, the next minute she’s trying to kill him with an ax. These mood swings, while relatable in some sense, will leave viewers generally concerned about the plot and characters’ mental states.
The most disappointing thing about this movie is not the toxic relationship between the main characters- it’s the obvious attempt of the producers to make a box office hit and the fact that there was a lot of potential for this movie. A-list actors like Pratt and Lawrence have the capability to make any movie they’re in successful, but the poor script, the set (the deserted ship modeled to look like a hotel was creepy, not comforting), and the psychotic characters could also set the scene for some demented horror film. In addition, the background information, while essential to understanding some plot points, overshadows the buildup to the climax, which is mediocre at best, not to mention predictable.
The moral lesson is also questionable- is there even supposed to be one? A man falls in love with a sleeping woman stalks her and wakes her up against her will, but it’s okay because he did it for love? His selfish actions were essentially her death sentence, forcing her to live out the rest of her life on a ship with the man who stalked her, but only Aurora really seems to care about this.
“Passengers,” which is directed by Morten Tyldum, runs for 1 hour and 56 minutes and is rated PG-13, is just a futuristic “Titanic,”- but nowhere near the caliber of the original classic.
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