Passengers (2016)

Awoken from hyper sleep 90 years early, Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) try to figure out the mystery on why that happened. Something is wrong with the ship and Jim and Aurora are the only ones that can save the ship and the 5,000 passengers on board.

Director: Morten Tyldum

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexuality, nudity, and action/peril

Fun Fact: Jennifer Lawrence’s character’s name Aurora is a nod to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

I was browsing at my local library looking for films to check out. I picked up Passengers and looked at the cover. It looked like a visually good film to view and I haven’t seen a sci-fi film like that in a long time.

Passengers is a visually stunning film. The set designs look fantastic and the special effects are top notch. I really enjoyed looking at the ship and all the different rooms that were on the ship. It had a 2001: A Space Odyssey feel to it. You can tell the budget went mostly to the set designs and effects. There’s a scene in the film where gravity is lost on the ship. Jennifer Lawrence’s character is swimming in a pool and gets trapped in the water. While she is trapped in the water and in the air, the camera is at a perfect position to show what is happening. On screen, it looks incredible and the CGI is used well and isn’t fake looking. While viewing Passengers, I kept thinking to myself this would’ve been very impressive if it was viewed in 3D.

While the effects are impressive, there is a major lacking in the film. The story is weak. Not until the third act, nothing much is going on. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are great actors and they have a good chemistry. The problem is the script really doesn’t give them much to do. That flaw makes it hard to get invested in the characters. It has the basic falling in love story and that’s about it. There really isn’t much tense moments and the plot just cruises along. Then when the third act starts, we get some tense moments but, they’re just pushed fast. I don’t want to spoil anything and you would need to watch it to know. The film feel rushed at that point and maybe a rewrite to make things flow better would’ve helped out the situation.

Speaking of chemistry, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, and Michael Sheen all work well with each other. I enjoyed the scenes that they had together and it kept me invested. The acting between Pratt and Sheen was the best part of it. Laurence Fishburne has a small but, needed role. He pulls off the sick crewman part well. Like I stated earlier Lawrence and Pratt do have a good chemistry but, their characters don’t really do much and it prevents them from really doing more.

Overall Passengers is a mixed bag of film making. The visuals are stunning and impressive and you will enjoy looking at the set pieces and CGI. The acting is decent but with the flaw of a rushed script you don’t get much investment into the lead characters.

Verdict: Middle Ground

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