Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is a man looking for a fresh start on a new world. Along with 5000 other passengers; Jim is sleeping away the 120 year journey in stasis aboard a luxury ship. In the new film “Passengers”, Jim finds his entire world turned upside down when he is awakened 90 years before the completion of his trip. Alone with no way to return to stasis; Jim struggles to keep his wits as despite having food and recreation readily available, his only companions are server robots and an Android bartender named Arthur (Michael Sheen).
Unable to wake any of the crew to assist him with the situation or access the bridge of the ship, Jim uses his engineering skills to study the operations of the ship as well as gain access to areas normally reserved for VIP passengers.
As time goes by Jim becomes more and more despondent because he cannot even contact anyone on earth as the computer informs him that it will take 36 years for reply to any of his messages to reach the ship and he grows weary of the thought of spending the rest of his life alone.
During one of his frequent visits to his former stasis chamber, Jim discovers an attractive passenger named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), and using the ships database, proceeds to learn all about her and begins to fall in love with her as she sleeps blissfully unaware of his presence.
Fate eventually gets in the way and Aurora awakens and joins Jim is the only people awake on the massive ship. Having come from a privileged background as a successful author, Aurora is really upset over spending the rest of her life on the ship as her plan was to spend a year on the colony world before returning to Earth and resuming her writing career 241 years after she left with the adventure she is undertaken being the basis for some of her new work.
The two eventually have feelings for one another, but Jim is harboring a dark secret that threatens to unravel the happy life they have been able to build for one another. As if that was not enough, the ship is experiencing random and increasing malfunctions which threaten not only their survival, but the long-term survival of the fellow crew and passengers and the long journey that they have ahead of them.
What follows is a time predictable but albeit entertaining mix of romance and action. There are some very good visuals in the film and while the story moves along at a very predictable pace, the two leads make the material work. The film does have numerous plot holes in it which I cannot go into without spoiling it but suffice it to say the premise of q couple stranded is not new.
Yes we have seen this all before but the cast and the interesting locale and visuals make the film add up to more than the sum of its parts. I only wish there’d been a little more time shoring up the plot holes and perhaps adding a little bit of mystery and intrigue to the plot as it truly would’ve made this more compelling.
3 stars out 5
Second Review By Josh Aja
Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is awaken out of hibernation aboard the Starship Avalon. He rests in his cabin and then gets ready to meet his fellow passengers. There is a problem though…no one else awake. Jim soon learns that the 120-year voyage to the planet is only 30 years into its journey to the new “Homestead Colony” planet. That leaves him 90 years alone on the ship, unable to contact anyone to help, unable to get to the bridge and unable to do anything but go along for the ride.
Of the 5000 plus passengers and crew it seems he is the only one awaken. Until he finds Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). They both struggle with the idea of being alone, with the exception of each other and the android bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen), and will undoubtedly parish before reaching their destination. They adjust into a life aboard the vessel. A mechanic, headed to make a new start in a brand-new world and an aspiring author, setting out to make a name for herself, stuck together in endless space and time. They explore their little world and see what they can make of it, getting to know each other along the way. But before long many things aboard the ship start to malfunction and they realize that maybe it was more than just an accident they are awake.
This Morten Tyldum directed film Passengers has a little bit of everything. At the center is a complicated romance between Jim and Aurora (I won’t spoil anything by saying more). There are a few twists and turns. Enough suspense to keep you on edge. As well as a little action and well timed comedy thrown in the mix. The story has a good flow and pace. Both Pratt and Lawrence give good performances as does the rest of the small cast. I particularly enjoyed Michael Sheen’s role. Laurence Fishburne, as Gus Mancuso, also does well in his short time of screen. The visual effects are good but I wouldn’t say they blew me away visually. They did an adequate job of visually showing emptiness of space. There is a very cool scene with Jennifer Lawrence in pool without gravity. The story is what I really enjoyed about this film. You really do get a sense of being alone from the actions of the characters and how they try and come to terms with how they will live out their days aboard this ship. It asks the question of what you really need to be happy.
Overall I thought this was an enjoyable film. Sometimes did it seem to reach a little about with two regular people could accomplish probably. That would be my one real criticism was that some parts were a little unbelievable. But again, it was a well put together original story that did a good job of entertaining.
4 out of 5