Film Review: Passengers

Directed by Morten Tyldum, Passengers follows two passengers – Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) – who are onboard a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. With the lives of thousands of passengers in jeopardy, Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse.

Rating:

Passengers had been one of my most anticipated films for the end of 2016, and then all the bad reviews started coming in…

But still, a film with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in the leads has to have some chemistry, right?

My answer to that question is the same as my response when leaving the cinema: “Meh.” I’m struggling to put together any more words than that because it’s too difficult to decide whether I really enjoyed the light-hearted comedy or if I was disappointed that it wasn’t any better.

For the most part, Chris Pratt has a great comedic presence which works really well for his character here, and Jennifer Lawrence has an effortless allure, so the two really work well together and are probably the only reason why this works better than it should.

The story is – more or less – well thought out, but there are many flaws to it, preventing it from being the solid sci-fi that we had all hoped for.

At times it feels like it’s really going somewhere, but it rarely surprises you in its delivery and, instead, falls on clichés and humour to soften the blow.

But it’s the humour that works best, I feel, balancing out the bad and lessening the awkwardness of Pratt and Lawrence’s relationship (because of how the story works out not because of their chemistry, since the two do work well together).

From the film’s trailer, it seemed like most of the storyline had been spoilt, but there is an added twist to knock things off guard. This twist, however, is a little creepy, opening up some very cringy lines of dialogue, and somewhat ruining the potential that the film had from the offset.

The setting and visuals are impressive, though, and you can tell that a lot of money was put into it but, in the end, it’s the often lazy script that lets this film down.

That being said, I couldn’t help but enjoy the journey, and there are a couple of scenes that really stand out.

The addition of Michael Sheen, as well, really helps to better a film that, at the end of the day, could have been a lot worse.

About Charlie Morris

Proofreader and film blogger living in Cornwall.

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