Reviews: Passengers


Passengers has been miss-sold to you. The trailer makes it look like Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence wake up in deep space and strike up a relationship while trying to find out why they’ve been woken up. This is not what the film is about, and this makes it problematic.

The actual plot of the film is much more intriguing than that.

In the future, humans have terra-formed planets for communities to start again. En route to on of these ‘homesteads’ a ship is hit by a meteor shower and this damages some of the ship’s systems resulting in Pratt being woken up 90 years early. He tries for years to gain access to the ship’s crew and attempts to get himself back to sleep, all with no success. After a failed suicide attempt he stumbles across the pod of Jennifer Lawrence and he falls for her while watching clips of why she had decided to leave Earth.

The only companion he has had for three years is a robotic bartender played by the ever-charming Michael Sheen, but  this isn’t enough. For months he bats around the idea of waking Lawrence up so he can have a companion… a lover, knowing that he is condemning her to the same fate.

This is such a great premise that it’s difficult to understand why it wasn’t marketed as this in the first place. Possibly because the film’s stars are too big to attract mainstream audiences to a creepy, psychodrama set in space, but this is what the film is.

This could be the film in which Pratt plays his most despicable character yet, at the point Lawrence finds out she calls him a murderer, and his has effectively sentenced her to death with his weakness.

The problem comes with the film trying to tie itself up to a nice ending. The two have to work together along with a fleeting performance by Laurence Fishburne as a crew member that also wakes up just to give them access to parts of the ship that previously were unobtainable to them. And all of a sudden all the bad feelings and the loathsome act Pratt had committed is forgiven by Lawrence in a way that is unbelievable given how her character has acted until this point.

Overall, it’s not a bad film, it was just sold to the world as a different film and it works against it, which is a shame. It taints what could have been a great psychological drama with a brilliant premise.


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