6 points about
I like to try and do 6 points about all of the big budget blockbuster movies, simply for the reason that so many people are interested in hearing whether or not they are good. Passengers falls under this category, and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward a whole lot to this one. The marketing campaign was awful, and their only really selling point, was that Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence agreed to be in the movie. Some genius also thought that coming out a week after bloody Star Wars was a good idea. Did Passengers go above my oh so lofty expectations, or it sink even lower? Read my 6 points about Passengers below.
1. I really enjoyed the first act of this movie at least.
The movie starts in what seems like an interesting premise. Chris Pratt is one of 5,000 going to Earth 2.0 (I don’t remember the actual name the movie gave it) and his hibernation bed malfunctions and wakes him up 90 years too early. Seeing Pratt’s character walk around what is pretty much a cruise ship all by himself was easily the most interesting part of the movie. For the first half hour or so, I was wondering what all the bad reviews were about. That was until Jennifer Lawrence gets introduced. We shall talk about that later, but this concept was easily the most fun part of the movie. I would easily have watched a full movie centring around this isolation in a space ship with the nearest person 30 years or so away.
2. But once Jennifer Lawrence was brought in…..
The movie came to a halt. I just wasn’t as interested. The movie became a generic romance. If the movie set out to be a romance, then sure it would have served its purpose fine. But it just became dull. The movie needed something to spice it up, and it made a failed attempt at this. There was one story element that occurred really early, and I felt that if it had have been left as a twist later in the movie, it would have had far more of an impact. Jennifer Lawrence’s plot elements were very generic, and for a movie that takes place in outer space, it felt very like I have seen this before.
3. Passengers simply lacked an identity.
The movie simply didn’t know what it wanted to be. The first act tried to be an isolation drama in the vein of The Martian or Cast away. The second act tried to be a clever romance. And finally the third act tried to be more a thriller/action. It didn’t know where to go, and ended up going the most basic route possible, without sticking to one specific genre. It wasn’t a good sci-fi, isolation movie because there wasn’t enough isolation elements. It wasn’t a good romance because there wasn’t enough romance, and the same for it being a thriller. I’m not saying I wanted an all romance or thriller movie, but if it stuck to just one, it would have given the movie an identity. It also was very unoriginal. It pulled a lot of elements from The Shining, Cast Away, The Martian and Alien just to name a few. Passengers simply wasn’t original, and didn’t know what the hell it wanted to be.
4. The plot couldn’t have gone in a more predictable way.
The entire movie I was expecting an M. Night Shyamalan style twist. Passengers was calling out, actually not, it was screaming out for a shock twist in the tale. It just never happened. There was no suspense whatsoever. I called exactly what was going to happen, and this made it hard for me to invest in the movie. If you watched the trailer, then that is exactly what you are going to get with this movie. It will more than likely play out in such a predictable manner that you will leave the movie thinking how plain and simple that was. For the science fiction masterpiece it thought it was, the end product was far too ordinary.
5. Chris Pratt was pretty good.
Jennifer Lawrence not so much. Chris Pratt is one of the most likeable actors in Hollywood today, and he genuinely was good in this movie. Okay, maybe I am being a bit harsh on Lawrence. I mean she was fine I guess. She didn’t even come remotely close to matching her ability that we see so often in movies such as Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games and American Hustle. They had fine chemistry together, and they grew into the movie together. Martin Sheen was actually the stand-out in this movie, and he had some wonderful scenes with Chris Pratt. These scenes showed the potential of this movie, that it simply didn’t reach.
6. Overall, Passengers was ultimately a disappointing waste of potential.
I really hate when a movie has lots of potential that it just couldn’t live up to. The director of the movie was probably miss-cast. Morten Tyldum of the Imitation Game was over this movie, and I really feel like he was the wrong choice. Someone like M. Night himself would have been great with this movie. Look, Passengers is very watchable, and if the trailers appealed to you, then watch this movie. If not, then don’t waste your time. I will give Passengers a 6/10.