Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Sometime in the distant future, the starship Avalon is traveling to the colony of Homestead II, an Earth-like planet that will hopefully provide a sustainable life for the 258 crew members and 5000 passengers aboard. It's not a quick jaunt, however -- the journey takes 120 years -- so the people aboard the Avalon are placed into hypersleep due to wake up four months prior to their arrival on Homestead II. Unfortunately for mechanic Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), his sleep pod opens up 90 years early and he finds himself completely alone on the gigantic spaceship with robot bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen) as his only companion. After a year, however, Jim is finally no longer alone when writer Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) is found walking around outside of her pod.
This romance in space is what works so incredibly well in Passengers. The chemistry between the affable Chris Pratt and the engagingly whip-smart Jennifer Lawrence is compellingly sweet as the duo run rampant through a huge futuristic world. Their solitary companionship is surprisingly successful. Unfortunately, the film veers off that path in its final half, forcing the charming duo to engage in a typical science fiction/action scenario that stands in such stark contrast to the lovely romance that precedes it. Admittedly, there is a twist to Passengers that I'm unwilling to discuss here and the twist is believable and successful in its implementation...which is why it's even more disappointing that director Morten Tyldum's film shifts to genericness at its conclusion. There was a huge opportunity for this film to be daring particularly in its final act and then screenwriter Jon Spaiths just takes the easy Hollywood way out. It hurts even more since the first hour of this thing is filled with nice performances and a different perspective on the science fiction genre.
The RyMickey Rating: C