The main protagonist in Passengers is Jim Preston (Pratt), who spends a year alone before he is joined by Aurora Lane (Lawrence). During this time, he also befriends an android bartender, Arthur, but otherwise the rest of the cast is made up of cameo’s. The antagonist is the ship itself. Turning on its passengers after a collision with an asteroid in space, forcing Jim and Aurora to become reluctant heroes.
The concept seems perfect: Castaway meets The Martian, with a few homages to other films. The scenes between Jack and Arthur reek of The Shinning. While Jim and Aurora’s “love story” is reminiscent of Titanic. Complete with class divide and a futuristic version of the scene on the ships bow. However, it does get to a point where you wonder if there are any original elements in the movie at all. And there are so many predictable and cheesy moments that it seems like an example of what-not-to-do for film students. Yet somehow the film still manages to draw you in.
It could be the actors that draw you in. Pratt and Lawrence fit the roles they’ve been cast in well, and so has Michael Sheen (Lucian from Underworld) as Arthur. Or it could be the heart of the film. All stories told are about humanity and the quest to find our reason for being. And Passengers tells this story well. Plus, there are some cool special effects, including a swimming pool scene when the ship goes into zero gravity.
The film can’t decide if it’s an action film, a romance, or a drama. Which could be why it’s been panned by critics and audiences alike. Therefore, if you’re willing to see the film without too many expectations, you have a shot at enjoying it. The only real problem with this film is that you can’t review it without giving too much away.
Passengers is a predictable and cheesy film, with an endearing heart and likeable characters.