754. Passengers

Background info

Title: Passengers
Director: Morten Tyldum
Year: 2016
Run time: 1hr 56m

“Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in a high-stakes adventure about two passengers, Jim and Aurora, onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other only to discover that the ship itself is in grave danger. With the lives of 5000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.”

Live blog

3:17 – God, you’ve got to be so careful with autopilot and literally no one around.
4:26 – Wow, were they, like, dead?
5:50 – Loving this spaceship. Doors light up and everything!
8:46 – “This elevator will experience a momentary lapse in gravity.”
13:04 – 55 years to send a message!
14:09 – Love Michael Sheen.
20:31 – Yea, it does seem awesome to have the spaceship to yourself… but I wonder when it would get old.
21:54 – Drunk spacewalking. What’s the harm?
27:04 – Annnnd then it gets a bit creepy.
28:37 – “Jim, these are not robot questions.”
39:09 – Loving the cubes of fruit. I want all my fruit in cubes from now on.
43:32 – “Can’t slogans be true?”
53:48 – That is quite the first date.
1:00:12 – Who was that announcement to? No one is supposed to be awake.
1:16:19 – Not “still” anything. There’s no excuse. Punch him, Morpheus!
1:19:53 – My god, the gravity-less pool is incredible/terrifying!
1:32:08 – There is definitely some flawed decision making going on here.
1:33:41 – Loving his Sonic Screwdriver that fits everything.
1:39:40 – I HATE those machines.
1:47:58 – Curious why they couldn’t take turns in the sleep machine.

Conclusions

 

Mixed feelings about this one. Firstly, the space ship was amazing. Great set, impressive technology, fantastic CGI to make it a totally immersive experience. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence were both brilliant, good chemistry between them, and the perfect reactions to their situation, guilt, horror, loneliness, togetherness, all of the above. The bar and Michael Sheen’s stint as an android bartender were particular highlights of the whole film. He had some of the best lines and delivered them perfectly.

Now to the bad stuff. It felt very derivative. I suppose there are only so many things you can actually do in space, but there was so much Wall-E and Gravity and Alien and so on, that it got a bit tiring after a while. The swimming pool section, that was original and brilliantly terrifying. The rest all felt quite familiar.

And beyond that, there were some serious fundamental flaws in the story that are hard to overlook. It feels like Gus’ first job should have been to wake up the Captain. It’s the captain’s job to make the big tough decisions, and if it involves saving the lives of 5000 people, I think he’s going to want to know about it. Given that this is an extension of the space and aviation industry in the future, I refuse to believe there aren’t extensive protocols about what should be done in case this happens – no matter how failsafe it all is. Did we learn nothing from Titanic?

It makes no sense that Gus wouldn’t wake anyone else up, particularly if he’s just a deck officer. He needs the captain, and maintenance, and more crew. IT’S THEIR JOB. I bet it was in the contract. It should have been the first thing he did, and even if it wasn’t, as soon as he’d got his diagnosis, it definitely should have been the next thing he did.

That took quite a lot away from the tension of the rest of it because you just know it shouldn’t and wouldn’t be happening like that. What with that and losing all sympathy for Pratt’s character once he made his big decision, the end was a bit of a damp squib.

But hey, really love that ship.

Rating: 3/5.

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