A luxury (and beautifully crafted) space carrier is taking 5000 people on a 120-year journey to colonise a new planet, Homestead II. Everyone on board is in deep hibernation, sleeping peacefully while the ship, Avalon, functions on autopilot. However, a collision with a meteorite field causes several malfunctions, including a single hibernation pod, which wakes up engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) 90 years early.
Unable to re-hibernate, Jim is forced to live out the remainder of his days onboard the Avalon with only android bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen) to keep him company. That is, until he becomes obsessed with passenger Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) and decides to wake her up as well.
Essentially a love story (mixed in with good old-fashioned betrayal) set in space, two-thirds of Passengers is a slow-paced, dialogue-driven drama. The last third offers a bit more action and suspense, but overall this isn’t your typical high-stakes lost-in-space film.
Pratt strays from his goofy loveable nature and instead is scarily unfamiliar with his intense, slightly delusional, lonely portrayal of Jim. Lawrence remains as familiar as she does in many of her films, determined as Katniss and as feisty as Mystique. Though, there’s something lacking with both their performances.
All in all, I don’t see what the big deal is. Personally, I wouldn’t mind spending out my days on the luxurious Avalon, complete with observation deck, cinema, basketball court, multiple restaurants, a bar, shops and a swimming pool with a pod that overlooks the galaxies. (My first thought was: why don’t more spaceships have swimming pools? This was only until the Avalon loses gravity and J-Law gets trapped inside a bubble of water, then I remembered why.) I guess normal people want human companionship or something…
Unfortunately, I preferred the trailer to the whole film. Though the special effects are out of this world, the story is stilted and even Pratt and Lawrence (who I was really excited to see play against each other) can’t save Passengers.