“ Passengers “, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, is the latest space thriller blended with a love story to hit cinemas. It is directed by Morten Tyldum, who also directed “The Imitation Game”. The space odyssey introduces the viewers to a futuristic project called the Avalon. This is a ship carrying 5 000 people from Earth to their new home, which is called Homestead II.
Amazing ideas, poor execution
However, things are not as simple as they seem. In order to be able to survive the 120-year trip, the passengers are sitting in some tubes while being in an induced coma. Everything changes when Jim (Chris Pratt) suddenly wakes up 90 years early. So, what can you do when you realize that you are condemned to die of old age alone and inside a spacecraft because you cannot go back into the tube? Well, you are either trying to escape as soon as possible or commit suicide. None of those is acceptable, so Jim’s attention falls on another sleeping passenger, Aurora Lane, (Jennifer Lawrence), a writer. Any reasonable man would not condemn another human being to the same fate as him. However, Jim becomes so obsessed with the beautiful passenger that he reads her entire biography and after months of contemplating his decision, he finally wakes her up.
Now, this is the moment when a movie which could have been the equivalent of the “Titanic” but in space, begins to fall flat. Even if the two leads are very beautiful and charming, they do not seem to really work together very well. Not enough chemistry is a bad thing for such a movie which relies on a relationship developing in space. There are moments where the movie begins to make the viewer feel like something great is about to happen. The next thing you know, the opposite happens and it ruins everything. “ Passengers “ has some really great ideas, but they are either poorly executed, only hinted at, or completely omitted.
Not the great movie it could have been
Apart from these problems, the movie also has some CGI issues. The vast, beautiful space sky which the viewers see the Avalon traveling through, has a cheap feeling to it. This is bizarre considering the enormous budget of the movie. Especially because there are other movies like “Interstellar” or “The Martian” which made the space feel as real as possible. In “ Passengers “, you can tell that is CGI and this pulls you out of the atmosphere of the movie.
Moreover, the movie begins in a fun, comedy-like tone, when the only awake person on the ship is Jim. After that, when Aurora enters the scene, it transforms into a romantic odyssey. There is nothing bad about this, but the director could have blended the two together and the movie would have made more sense and would have felt more real. Instead, it falls flat on many occasions. Still, a round of applause must be given to actor Michael Sheen for his portrayal of the android bartender aboard the Avalon.
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