Film Review: Passengers

Apparently set in the distant future, the starship Avalon is on a 120-year journey to ‘Homestead 2’ – a distant colony planet of Earth. During the voyage, due to a systems failure, passenger Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) wakes up from his hibernation within 30 years, 90 years too early. The 5000 passengers and 258 crew were actually supposed to awake from their hypersleep only 4 months before touchdown. That’s the basic premise of writer Jon Spaihts’ story that was handed over to director Tyldum. And yes, you read all those figures right.

With android bartender Arthur (a splendid performance by Michael Sheen) for company and out of sheer boredom – imagining certain death, Preston fritters away a year till he decides to snatch peek shots at the other passengers hibernating in their pods. His eyes dwell on writer Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) and wakes her up. And it’s not long before their proximity takes them between the sheets and all throughout the behemoth spaceship.

Visually stunning at times (and it’s not only Jennifer Lawrence), the film – for almost the entire part – revolves around just the two protagonists. But that in itself isn’t such a bad idea, because the chemistry between the two is quite palpable. The set designed by Gene Serdena is appealing. Pratt and Lawrence do their best in a script with limited opportunities. One wishes the writer and director did as much rebooting to the story as Preston did on the spaceship. Even Andy Garcia’s five-second blink-and-miss cameo barely translates into much.

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