By Jose Jara
Go See That Other Space Movie
By: Daniel Guzman
Passengers is the story of a spaceship carrying 5,000 passengers and 258 crew members to another habitable planet called Homestead 2. The flight will take 120 years to reach final destination, so all passengers are forced to hibernate in sleep pods. Unfortunately for one passenger, Jim (Christ Pratt), 30 years into the flight the futuristic spaceship that can autopilot to another planet in a different galaxy cannot re-route itself out of a collision course with a cluster of meteorites. One of the meteorites breaches the ship, causing Jim’s sleep pod to be the unlucky winner of an early wake up call. Jim quickly realizes his misfortune and goes through all the steps a man marooned on a spacecraft would go through. Jim goes back and forth with robotic bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen) about waking up another passenger, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), who he believes he has fallen in love with while she has been laying in her pod like sleeping beauty. When Jim finally builds up the courage to open her pod and forever condemn Aurora to his same fate, she is oblivious to Jim being responsible for her pod opening. Without giving away too much more, let me say that a big portion of the film is about them getting to know each other, and us awaiting the inevitable moment when she realizes why she is awake.
I sat down and tried to take off into the abyss that Passengers’ director Morten Tyldum wanted me to embark on. I attempted to join Jim as he is accidentally awakened from hypersleep and is left to meander alone around the Homestead spaceship. By the way, try your best not to confuse Christ Pratt’s Jim with Will Forte’s bearded character in Last Man on Earth. I could empathize with Jim’s dilemma about whether he should wake up another passenger just to stop himself from committing suicide. Misery does love company, especially when that company is a woman whose online spaceship profile you’ve obsessed over.
I am definitely a fan of both leading actors. I loved Chris Pratt in Parks and Recreation and rooted for him in his transformation from comic relief character to action star superhero in Guardians of the Galaxy. I fell for Jennifer Lawrence when I saw her in Winter’s Bone and I believe she was the right pick for Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie franchise. They are both likeable actors, but in this film, these two don’t quite work out, especially given the way Jim manipulates himself into the obvious choice for her to end up with. The romance felt forced by the director, and after a bulk of the film is spent on their relationship, everything else felt rushed. The film was wrapped up with an audience pleasing closure, but not something I’m still thinking about. All in all, this movie is barely holding on in my short-term memory, and I’m rushing to finish this review before I completely forget it.