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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017 - 6:05:54 PM

Review of fantasy sci-fi film, "Passengers"
By Rouén Robinson
Jan 6, 2017 - 3:34:28 AM

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Every Moment Counts...

With thousands of lives in jeopardy it is up to two people to figure out the mystery behind the growing malfunctions on a spaceship decades away from its destination. It becomes a race against time as their ship teeters to the brink of collapse and an unsure future, if they succeed, as they can not return to hibernation.

Jim Preston is a mechanical engineer on the starship Avalon voyaging with 5,000 colonists on a 120 year journey to Homestead II who is awoken from hibernation 90 years early due to a malfunction. Aurora Lane is a journalist awoken from her hibernation roughly 89 years too early who must deal with the fact that her plan to be the first journalist to return from a colonized planet has been dashed. Chief Gus Mancuso is a Chief Deck Officer awoken from hibernation as a result of the growing amount of malfunctions aboard the star cruiser and must help figure out the source of the glitches. Arthur is the android bartender on board the Avalon who dispenses platitudes as advice to his patrons and keeps a log of each interaction to better serve those who come to him for assistance.

Passengers is a movie that attempts to give you something to provoke genuine thought and emotion that devolves into a nonsensical spectacle. Without giving away one of the main twists of the movie, there is a romantic element that is not earned and because of this makes the undertaking of this affair as a whole feel dirty and cheap as it is driven by the need to finish the story instead of giving the characters proper closure. Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence give us characters who feel real, but are trapped in a scenario that forces them to behave as stunted individuals. I hope Morten Tyldum’s next directing effort is better than this one and more in line with The Imitation Game which he directed before this. Jon Spaihts proves in his writing of this screenplay that there is a reason he has always had a co-writer due to the fact that his pay offs are unable to live up to his set ups and that he probably needs another person to help him better realize his vision on the page. The fact that we are asked to hope for the happiness of two people just because they are pretty is extremely condescending to the audience and true sacrifice is shown by a character that is only a part of the story for such a short amount of time just magnifies the flaws in the storytelling.

I rate this film a 2 out of 5.  

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