Passengers Review: An intergalactic awry love story

The spaceship, Starship Avalon, is on its 120-year journey through space to a colony planet when the ship starts to malfunction. As a result, two hibernation pods open 90 years too early, awaking its inhabitants Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). As Jim and Aurora begins adjusting to living the rest of their lives aboard the ship, they fall in love. But their blissful lives are put on hold when the malfunctioning ship begins to act up, threatening the lives of everyone on board.

To be honest, it was a little difficult crafting the summary for this film especially when a crucial plot twist had to be left out. This plot twist takes up a pretty huge role in the film and actually erases everything you believed in before sitting down to watch the film. In short, when you finally see the reveal of this plot twist, you’ll realize that there isn’t much of a story to it.

“Oh damn. Critics are going to have field day with this one.” Source: Columbia Pictures

There are no villains in the film and the action only comes in during the second half. The malfunction comes in a simple form though I would have preferred someone hijacking the system. Though the audience is given a chance to learn more about Aurora’s character, there isn’t much background given on Jim – which makes it all the more strange. It would have been a nice balance to understand the two characters individually instead of knowing a lot about one and nothing about the other.

The visual effects are pretty great in this film, akin to other space films like Gravity and Interstellar. The chemistry between the characters, on the other hand, felt a little awkward at times. Instead of seeing Lawrence and Pratt as a couple, I was seeing more of a sibling chemistry between the two.

“Your hair is so soft. You have to tell how you maintain it in this stale space air!” Source: Columbia Pictures

The story definitely had a lot of room to grow and I would have preferred to see a little more hurdles that challenged the characters. But, I can also see how it had been watered down to concentrate on the growing relationship between these two characters.
Instead of harping on the ‘what could have been’, sometimes, it’s enough to enjoy the moments you are given. In the case of Aurora who has been planning her life and trying to live up to her father’s name, she needed to learn to let go and dive head-first into the unknown. And, Jim was her way to achieving that.

Though I did enjoy the human aspect of the plot, I really did hope for some evil villain to pop out and say ‘huzzah, your ship is going down because I want it to!’. But, when it came down to it, the action-filled portion of the film felt like a defining moment in the film to progress the relationship between Aurora and Jim. Instead of being a climatic point of the film, it has suddenly become a filler for the plot.

I’d love to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Passengers but it was rather difficult when I’m left with questions despite a proper conclusion to Aurora and Jim’s lives.




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