‘Passengers’ is an American sci-fi thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum which stars the stunning Jennifer Lawrence and influential Chris Pratt. The film surrounds the spaceship the ‘Avalon’ that is transporting 5,000 passengers to another homeland, a journey that is going to take 120 years. The passengers and crew are in hibernation until a couple of months before landing, however, two passengers are awoken too early. The film follows the run of isolation and relationship between the two characters that have to spend their lives together on this spaceship unless they figure out how to get themselves back to sleep.
Chris Pratt, playing Jim Preston starts the film off with awakening to this new, exciting life on a spaceship. However, quite shortly after being put through a computer-assigned routine he comes to realise he is the only one. Something has gone wrong with his pod – He’s awake early. Hit with the thought of dying on the ship alone he tries to fix his pod to put himself back to sleep. Being a mechanical engineer he spends a whole year revising how the pods work to try and end his ever-growing isolation and loneliness. Still, with no success. This leads to Jim nearly committing suicide. The act one of this film truly shows the loneliness people go through when being surrounded by so many people. The fact that Jim is surrounded by all these people in hibernation and essentially alone depicts a subtle representation of the loneliness that many feel in their own lives. With that being said, only another person can draw them out of that hole, and for Jim that is the introduction of Aurora. The dilemma of taking someone’s life away at the expense of making yours better is for sure a hard choice to make and I think Pratt showed the battle in his head well. However, when ruining someone’s life you expect a certain amount of guilt afterwards however that side was rarely shown at the beginning. Nonetheless, the appearance of Jennifer Lawrence’s character with no doubt made the film better and more exciting.
When seeing the relationship bloom quite quickly, the film becomes quite prominently, in them moments more of a romance than a sci-fi thriller which is, disappointing because if something romantically does bloom in films, they always sit better as a sideline at the beginning. As the film progresses it focuses on the relationship and how it breaks and makes which at first is quite slow. When seeing the trailer you imagine it to be fast-paced action with there being some underlying problem on this ship – maybe another person? maybe a computer? Something that is a threat or in control of these two characters that they have to figure out. That is not the case. There was a period of time in act two of the film where you are waiting for something interesting to happen and the build-up is snail like. The entrance of another character breaks the relationship focus up, which is a good thing, however, ends the isolation of these two characters which is what it was always about. In regard to Gus, the Chief deck Officer, with respect is played well by Laurence Fishburne, as he is a likeable and interesting character that you instantly feel sorry for when you realise he has limited time. The progression of him dying could have been extended as I believe if we saw him more it could have been more of an emotional moment for the audience.
The end of the film is quite light-hearted and Aurora wanting to be a writer and finding this incredible story to tell the waking passengers is a lovely way to end the film. The overall film, personally I think could have been better. The exciting look and tension between these two characters could have been broadened rather than focusing on a romance from the beginning, just because it is something that works for many films, doesn’t mean it always has to be at the forefront. Sci-fi, as a genre is really succeeding well currently and I believe with the concept that was created more action and adventure could have been made. Which is a shame. Even though it is not a film I’ll refer back to or put up there with my favourites, the subtle elements it did touch on about loneliness where something I thought was quite interesting. In all honesty, if romance dominant films are something you enjoy with an element of action towards the end, the film might be something you would like to see. I do believe the trailer sets you up to imagine a different kind of film and that’s maybe where my disappointment lies. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend you go to the cinema to see it however, if you are in the mood for watching Jennifer Lawrence one night in the future it is always something you could give ago online or on DVD when it’s cheaper.