“PASSENGERS”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

“Passengers” is a perfect example of star power plus chemistry between the two leads making a so-so movie much better. Yes the CGI effects are, at points, amazing and/or amusing–anyone for an android bartender?– but the basic story of ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl’–do I really have to add the third part?–is as old as the movies are but Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt give the film that extra something that makes the story almost seem new. They bring something to “Passengers” that sort of makes up the lack of chemistry between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard that almost made “Allied” impossible to look at!

The story avoids many moral issues brought up by the basis of the relationship between the two stars but one sort of forgets that aspect watching Lawrence and Pratt on a 120 year trip to a new world where 5,000 passengers, plus a crew of over 200, are put in hibernation for the trip with plans to wake them up 4 months before they reach Homestead II. In a case of malfunction Pratt wakes up 90 years ahead of schedule and due to a lie Lawrence wakes up a year later soon to be followed by a crew member, played Lawrence Fishburne, by another malfunction.

Though familiar, establishing the romance between the working class mechanical engineer and the Gold Class passenger, which seems to get her a better choice of foods and coffee selection, is delightful as they romp around the space ship Avalon with all the luxuries. I doubt any other woman in space will have the hair, makeup and various outfits as given to Lawrence. There are three scenes in the infinity pool that range from fun to horror to a romantic spot. When the android bartender, played by Martin Sheen, accidentally gives away a betrayal taken place, the chemistry and heat goes up a couple of notches between Jim (Pratt) and Aurora (Lawrence) in their anger and disappointment in each other.

While “Passengers” may seem like a run of the mill sci-fi and/or love story picture Lawrence, Pratt and many interesting special effects holds more interest then a usual space film does. Could you wait 50 years for a reply for help? Time is also played with in the film.

Fishburne’s role is small but effective and necessary, Sheen provides a few laughs and, surprisingly, so do the robotic vacuum cleaners, plus Andy Garcia is listed in the credits but I don’t recall seeing him in the film.

Morten Tyldum, the director, and screen writer Jon Spaihts, offer the sci-fi aspects a lot better than the romantic angles but in the more than capable hands of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt the latter part offers all a romance, the good and bad, should. Tyldum and Spaihts could have added a third dimension to the movie by getting into suspending life for 120 years and some of the ethical discussions that are brought up.

Though not a ‘must see’ film those who are fans of Jennifer Lawrence or are not familiar with Chris Pratt plus the production design of the space ship Avalon by Guy Hendrix Dyass are reasons enough to see “Passengers”.

 Movie trailer

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKgf2Q2qmdk

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