Watching Passengers a few weeks after release is a slightly strange experience. Obviously your opinion of a film should not be marred by its performance at the box office (and mine isn’t, I really liked it) but when a film fails as much as Passengers seems to have done at home, you have to wonder what is wrong.
What is wrong, my friends, is how the film has been marketed. If you have seen the trailer, you will be forgiven for thinking that two people wake up accidently and fall in love whilst travelling through space. So far, so Titanic. The thing is, we were sold a lie. It is not a ‘finding each other, falling in love’ story at all. It is a tale of obsession, making the wrong choices and eventually bringing someone out of stasis 90 years too early just so you have someone to play Dance Dance Revolution with.
Chris Pratt is normally totally likeable LIKE IN THIS TRAILER, but once he wakes up ‘Aurora’ (Sleeping Beauty reference, excellent) for his own ends, he essentially becomes a murderer, taking the life that she has chosen and giving her instead the choice of solitude or hanging out with him.
Of course, on a ship with no other people, except for the excellent Michael Sheen as a robot (“actually I’m an android”) barkeep, this secret will never come out…OR WILL IT?
Jennifer Lawrence is utterly delightful here, if you were going to create a dream girl to spend your time alone with, then this seems to be the perfect model. Funny, cool, good at basketball, everything you want when you are spinning through space. She carries the whole film and sparkles on ‘date night’ or when talking to Sheen, captivating.
The space scenes are impressive, the ship itself is huge, like a big floating cruise ship and there are a couple of scenes where the couple float outside that are beautiful. Most of the action though happens inside the ship and so it is the chemistry between the two main actors that sells (or apparently doesn’t sell) Passengers and whilst you may find yourself yelling “DON’T DO THAT!” at the screen on various occasions, you should ignore the poor box office and get yourself onboard.