Passengers (2016) Review

passengers

While on a interstellar voyage to a new Earth, two out of 5,000 passengers about the space craft Avalon awake from their sleep chambers 90 years early. The two begin to get close despite their assured deaths sooner than the others, but they realize that their ship and the rest of the passengers may be in danger when they discover ship received massive damage.

Passengers is basically Titanic in space, but in all honesty, I preferred this much over Titanic (which I find massively overrated). Besides the similarities with Titanic, it does have a very fresh and entertaining storyline. It brings forth a lot of themes with it involving life and how much companionship matters as well as what we’d do in order to gain that companionship. The space travel aspect is also very engaging and well-done. What it also does really well is flow together with the romance story, survival, and the representation of life and loneliness. It starts out with the loneliness and isolation from other life and the need for companionship, and it then transitions to the love story, and finally turns the last half of the movie into a survival story while still including the aforementioned aspects without completely forgetting about them. The fact that it doesn’t overdo it with the romance is the best part since the trailer made it look like love story. As far as the love story goes, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence have very solid chemistry and you enjoy their scenes together as they bond as the only two people essentially alive in the whole ship. It does feature some very cliches and cheesy lines in the film but like the romance itself it doesn’t overdo it.  However the best part of the film is in the last half when they put the love story aside and focus more on survival and saving the ship. The whole last half is very intense and features some good action sequences. And what would a space film be like without it’s visual effects? The visual effects here are fantastic and a pleasure for the eyes, not only that but the production design of the Avalon is gorgeous and get a good feel of it to put yourself in the ship with the two characters. Plain and simple it’s a fun and entertaining film all the way through.

As I mentioned above, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence share great on-screen chemistry, even if the relationship feels more like them as best friends, but not so much as a romantic couple. Jennifer Lawrence as always does fine on her own and she really does a fine job of showing her character’s confusion, distress, and anger in the scenes that require it. It’s not her best performance and it’s not necessarily anything we haven’t seen her provide before, but she still sells it. Pratt on the other hand I was disappointed with. He knocked it out of the park as the hero in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, but here he turns in a rather bland and boring performance. It wasn’t a bad performance, but it clearly shows he’s a better action or comedic hero than a dramatic one. Though the one actor who really stood out to me was Michael Sheen. I’ve never really cared for or paid attention to his acting before but he did very well here as the robotic human bartender Arthur. Sheen provides good and simple comedic moments, but also provides a lot of guidance and wisdom to the two leads. Thankfully the character gets plenty of screen time to leave a lasting impression. Laurence Fishburne does a good job as well in his smaller role as one of the crew members who attempts to help save the ship.

While Passengers overall isn’t exactly anything new, it does provide an engaging and entertaining story with a great production design, excellent visuals, a well put together story that uses different themes and plot points to hold it up from going overboard, and they all flow together really well. Even though Pratt doesn’t provide much in is individual performance, he and Lawrence have solid chemistry, while she and the rest of the cast do a fine job. Don’t let the bad reviews discourage you from film that is pure entertainment all the way through.

4.5/5

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