“Passengers” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

22 December, 2016

Director: Morten Tyldum
Screenwriter: Jon Spaihts
Director of Photography: Rodrigo Prieto
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen

Synopsis: Two voyagers placed inside hibernation pods accidentally wake up a century too early. Forced to spend their remaining days on-board a luxury spacecraft, the pair discover the dire consequences of the ship’s malfunction.

Passengers Review:

Taking a far stranger route than any of the advertising materials would dare to suggest, “Passengers” is a space movie which dedicates its entire first act to a new-age “Silent Running” narrative as Chris Pratt experiences the Robinson Crusoe effect whilst living out an entire year void of human contact. The film projects an unusually honest account of how much loneliness and horniness can influence people, using this very concept to fuel its key transitional phase before “Passengers” is revealed to be another fairly standard Sci-Fi debacle.

During the film’s shift from lone spaceman story to interstellar romance, Jon Spaihts formulates a movie which fails to appeal to a particular target market. While the opening scenes are mostly impressive as the screenplay drags its heels a little in order to convey the passage of time, “Passengers” is let down by its need to provide blockbuster action as trailer-friendly life-or-death situations replace a calmly formulated drama. Although the spectacle holds up well on the big screen, it has no place in a movie revolving around such a schizophrenic romance, particularly one founded on such a dark secret, and it isn’t long before the movie loses its sinister edge in favour of something more predictable.

Aside from the somewhat erratic concept shift, which sees the bulk of the character development left behind, “Passengers” executes itself with the intention of recapturing its initial glory which it does to some extent after the expected hurdles are overcome. While Thomas Newman’s atmospheric and enrapturing score is always present to keep you on your toes, it’s still more than a little depressing to see a movie have so little faith in its basic premise as it loses its way and resorts to old tricks in order to feel like it’s worthy of your time.


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