Film: Passengers

"I laughed at a man with no pants, until I realized I have no legs."

This review contains spoilers

A man and woman (Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) are awakened from hibernation 30 years into a 120-year trip to another planet. They then must search for a way to avoid dying alone on the ship.

At least that’s what the trailers tell you. The reality of how monumentally weird Passengers is slowly sinks in as you realise that the first 20 minutes of the film don’t seem to feature Jennifer Lawrence at all. Chris Pratt wakes up due to a glitch and spends a year alone before deciding he wants to bang Jennifer Lawrence so he wakes her up too.

This is a film about a man who condemns a young woman to live out her life on a giant spaceship with only him for company. I suppose it’s not technically murder but it does raise some ethical issues.

She’s angry when she finds out, but ultimately they make up and, as far as I can tell, fuck each other until they die of old age. That’s actually how the film ends, they just resign to their fate and we’re supposed to accept that Chris Pratt didn’t do a murder and it’s all fine.

The production values are clearly high, yet the film is so rough around the edges. It’s usually pedantry to bring up continuity problems but when you confine a film to a tight space with no escape you are inviting the audience to come up with ways they could save themselves. Then when you change the rules half way through (like having doors that used to be shut suddenly open) it just pisses everyone off.

Couple that with a creepy-as-fuck jovial tone and two lazy lead performances (Michael Sheen is the only good thing in this, and he’s a bloody robot bartender) and you’ve got a real stinker on your hands.

Passengers is for the most part extremely bland, yet thanks to the chirpy way it handles the absolutely psychotic actions of the lead it really fits into the so bad it’s good category, so I have to recommend it. It stands as a perfect example of how tone-deaf Hollywood can be.

Morten Tyldum | 2016 | IMDB | Wikipedia