Passengers

"Very Good"

Passengers Review


Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels through drama, comedy, romance and action as it tells a deep-space story with essentially just three characters. Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), the film looks sleek and cool, but it's the charismatic duo at the centre that holds the attention.

The spacecraft Avalon is on a 120-year journey from Earth to a distant homestead planet, where its 5,000 hibernating passengers will wake up to start a new life. But only 30 years into the trip, one pod opens by mistake. And James (Pratt) realises that he's come out of suspended animation 90 years too soon. His only company is a robotic barman (Sheen), so in a moment of weakness he wakes up another passenger, Aurora (Lawrence). As they begin to settle in for their long, lonely life together, the ship begins misbehaving, waking up a crew member (Laurence Fishburne) who works with James and Aurora to figure out why all of this is happening. And they'll need to work quickly if they hope to save the lives of the sleeping passengers.

Basically, the film is like a mash-up of Titanic and Gravity. The Avalon is a super-whizzy cruiseliner, and Tyldum finds all kinds of visually stunning settings in its various areas, from the vast shopping mall at the centre to a windowed swimming pool and a few gasp-inducing spacewalks. There's also a riff on the disparity between poor passengers like mechanic James in steerage and the wealthy ones like writer Aurora. Plus a hint of an idea in the corporate conglomerate that's making a fortune from this ambitious project. But these deeper themes remain well under the surface, as the attention focuses squarely on the journey James and Aurora are taking. This may leave the movie feeling rather thin and superficial, but it's also deeply involving.

Pratt and Lawrence bring so much energy, wit and emotion to their characters that we can hardly help but identify with them through their relational highs and lows, plus the more basic excitement of the plot's thriller-style sequences. Less sympathetic are the rather contrived decisions the screenplay forces them to make, and this leaves the film oddly uninvolving even though the characters are entertaining and the imagery is gorgeous. In other words, despite its hint of serious edge, this is ultimately little more than escapist fluff. At least it's solidly well made to help us escape the troubles of Earth for a couple of hours.

Watch the trailer for Passengers:



Passengers

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Monday 19th December 2016

Budget: $120M

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Original Film, Company Films, Start Motion Pictures, LStar Capital, Wanda Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Morten Tyldum

Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher, Ori Marmur

Starring: as Jim Preston, as Aurora, as Arthur, as Gus Mancuso, Aurora Perrineau as Celeste, Kimberly Battista as Jr Officer Fitzgerald, Jamie Soricelli as Space Cruise Passenger, Julee Cerda as Instructor, Shelby Taylor Mullins as Passenger, Marie Burke as Attendant, Kristin Brock as Aurora's Friend, Vince Foster as Executive Officer, Kara Flowers as Communications Officer, Kevin Tan as Passenger, Robert Larriviere as TV Host, Jeff Olsen as Passenger, Ana Gray as Coffee Girl, Stephen M. LaBar Jr. as Passenger, Conor Brophy as Ensign, Kelli Pardo as Passenger, Barbara Jones as Passenger, Inder Kumar as Banker in Pod (uncredited), Emma Clarke as The Starship Avalon

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Advertisement
England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.