PASSENGERS

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

The hype for Morten Tyldum’s Passengers was real.

For starters, the movie boasts a stellar cast consisting of Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence and Martin Sheen, among others. On the other hand, we’ve got Tyldum, whose claim to fame was the impeccably filmed biopic The Imitation Game—a film which, despite a lack of originality when it comes to execution, made up for it with solid technical and creative filmmaking.

Of course, not all interstellar travel movies really make for compelling material, mostly due to each riffing off classic films for creative inspiration to the point of lazily written déjà vu materials. With Tyldum’s latest, however, there was hope.

THE MOVIE

Cast Away in Space

Hopes are often meant to be shattered.

As Passengers begins, viewers witness the gorgeously vast expanse of space, with the spaceship traveling with an almost unceremoniously constant speed. Backed by the trademark sounds of Thomas Newman, the film sets its audience up to a darkly funny sci-fi survival parable with a strong, almost self-aware commentary on consent. This is where Chris Pratt shines as the lone castaway slowly turning insane.

[…] The finale’s cop-out nature […] just ruins about any goodwill viewers might have for [the film].ANKIT OJHA

There are many dips in narrative—some conversations and people are found to be often irrelevant in the long run—but despite the flaws, the film keeps running decently enough for the first two acts. An incredible turning point shows Jennifer Lawrence at her most shining, giving the right amount of emotional volatility to Aurora Lane, who’s just discovered some devastating news that broke off all foundations of trust she built with the only human she knows.

But then, after a functional build-up, we’re treated to a shamefully weak third act that almost destroys the film’s foundation. Nothing—neither Rodrigo Prieto’s (Water for Elephants) gorgeous cinematography, nor the sound design or the edit decisions made in its favor—can save Passengers from being an absolute wreck of a film, purely due to the finale’s cop-out nature that ruins just about any goodwill viewers might have for it. Of course, it’s not a bewilderingly bad film, but for a potential this promising being squandered the way Tyldum and writer John Spaihts (Prometheus) did, it deserves to be held by a higher standard.

We only have each other

VERDICT

A film like Passengers describes just how important it is for a film this conceptually promising to have a lifesaving third act. Despite commendable performances from its leads, Passengers eventually just cops out in favor of supporting the narrative of a space romance—a major misstep, considering how predominantly morally grey it kicks off being.

But then again, for a film that also wastes talents of the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia—the latter seems present for a flabbergasting less than five seconds of the film’s runtime—you wouldn’t really expect much. Those who do, however, being vehemently implored to believe that the film’s protagonists “woke up for a reason”, are in for the strongest disappointment of all.

They really didn’t.

Watch the trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Star Rating:

Plot

Mechanic Jim Preston, with hopes of building a future on another planet, wakes out of hibernation on a spaceship ninety years too early, driving him to near-insanity—that is until he bumps into writer Aurora Lane.

Cast

Chris Pratt
Jennifer Lawrence
Michael Sheen

Director

Morten Tyldum

Rated

PG-13

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Cast Chris Pratt
Jennifer Lawrence
Michael Sheen
Director Morten Tyldum
Star Rating

THE PLOT

Mechanic Jim Preston, with hopes of building a future on another planet, wakes out of hibernation on a spaceship ninety years too early, driving him to near-insanity—that is until he bumps into writer Aurora Lane.

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

The hype for Morten Tyldum’s Passengers was real.

For starters, the movie boasts a stellar cast consisting of Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence and Martin Sheen, among others. On the other hand, we’ve got Tyldum, whose claim to fame was the impeccably filmed biopic The Imitation Game—a film which, despite a lack of originality when it comes to execution, made up for it with solid technical and creative filmmaking.

Of course, not all interstellar travel movies really make for compelling material, mostly due to each riffing off classic films for creative inspiration to the point of lazily written déjà vu materials. With Tyldum’s latest, however, there was hope.

THE MOVIE

Cast Away in Space

Hopes are often meant to be shattered.

As Passengers begins, viewers witness the gorgeously vast expanse of space, with the spaceship traveling with an almost unceremoniously constant speed. Backed by the trademark sounds of Thomas Newman, the film sets its audience up to a darkly funny sci-fi survival parable with a strong, almost self-aware commentary on consent. This is where Chris Pratt shines as the lone castaway slowly turning insane.

[…] The finale’s cop-out nature […] just ruins about any goodwill viewers might have for [the film].ANKIT OJHA

There are many dips in narrative—some conversations and people are found to be often irrelevant in the long run—but despite the flaws, the film keeps running decently enough for the first two acts. An incredible turning point shows Jennifer Lawrence at her most shining, giving the right amount of emotional volatility to Aurora Lane, who’s just discovered some devastating news that broke off all foundations of trust she built with the only human she knows.

But then, after a functional build-up, we’re treated to a shamefully weak third act that almost destroys the film’s foundation. Nothing—neither Rodrigo Prieto’s (Water for Elephants) gorgeous cinematography, nor the sound design or the edit decisions made in its favor—can save Passengers from being an absolute wreck of a film, purely due to the finale’s cop-out nature that ruins just about any goodwill viewers might have for it. Of course, it’s not a bewilderingly bad film, but for a potential this promising being squandered the way Tyldum and writer John Spaihts (Prometheus) did, it deserves to be held by a higher standard.

We only have each other

VERDICT

A film like Passengers describes just how important it is for a film this conceptually promising to have a lifesaving third act. Despite commendable performances from its leads, Passengers eventually just cops out in favor of supporting the narrative of a space romance—a major misstep, considering how predominantly morally grey it kicks off being.

But then again, for a film that also wastes talents of the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia—the latter seems present for a flabbergasting less than five seconds of the film’s runtime—you wouldn’t really expect much. Those who do, however, being vehemently implored to believe that the film’s protagonists “woke up for a reason”, are in for the strongest disappointment of all.

They really didn’t.

Watch trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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