The other day, I went to see Passengers. I’ll be honest, I mainly went to visit the awesomely cozy Electric Cinema in Shoreditch. Which in hindsight, is probably more worthy of a review than Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s distinctively average sci-fi thriller. But hey, let’s try and do this.
The film is set on the spaceship Avalon, which carries hibernating passengers over a 125 year journey towards the promised new colonial world of Homestead II. Due to a technical fault, engineer (and, it quickly turns out, arsehole) Jim Preston finds himself awaken from his sleeping pod 90 years early. Stuck in the middle of space, he is effectively condemned to slowly die alone.
His only company is one of the the film’s good points: android bartender Arthur, played by the disturbingly convincing and quite funny Michael Sheen.
Trapped in his loneliness, Jim begins to stalk fellow passengers including sleeping beauty writer Aurora (Jen Lawrence). After a very short wrestle with his conscience, he decides to wake her up and effectively condemn her to the same tragic fate.
And that’s sort of about it in terms of plot, aside from a randomly short cameo appearance from Laurence Fishburne which is so unnecessary it looks like a parody of Hollywood’s historical tendency to kill off the black guy straight away. Woops, spoiler alert.
Although the chemistry between Pratt and Lawrence’s characters is good, and some of the special effect sequences spectacular (such as the zero-gravity swimming pool scene), the lack of a storyline is far too big an issue for these to be redeeming features.
All in all, Passengers is an eventless and shallow proposition, which lazily relies on the glamour of two attractive big box office names. Very forgettable 4/10.