DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews
 
PASSENGERS (director: Morten Tyldum; screenwriter: Jon Spaihts; cinematographer: Rodrigo Prieto; editor: Maryann Brandon; music: Thomas Newman; cast: Jennifer Lawrence (Aurora Lane), Chris Pratt (Jim Preston), Michael Sheen (Arthur), Laurence Fishburne (Gus Mancuso), Andy Garcia (Captain Norris), Emma Clarke (voice-The Starship Avalon); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer:  Stephen Hamel/Michael Maher/Neal H. Moritz/Ori Marmur; Sony/Columbia Pictures; 2016)

"An entertaining but somewhat corny sci-fi fantasy romance film with aspirations to be a deep thinking film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An entertaining but somewhat corny sci-fi fantasy romance film with aspirations to be a deep thinking film. It's written by Jon Spaihts and ably directed by Morten Tyldum  ("The Imitation Game"/"Headhunters").

In the distant future, there's a spaceship of 5000 paying hibernating passengers and 255 crew members from an overcrowded earth, who are encased in pods on a 120-year journey toward a privatized habitable colony called Homestead II. Among those aboard are the mechanic Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), who awakens 90 years before the arrival date due to being jostled because of a meteor hit and finds himself the only person awake. He chats with a droid bartender (Michael Sheen), enjoys the luxuries on the well-equipped spaceship and plays one-man basketball games. As a year goes by he begins going bonkers. After eyeballing a hot blonde, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), he wakes her up in spite of knowing her future is sealed with his. Without the ability to reenter their pods, Jim and Aurora will die before reaching Homestead II. .

The filmmaker misses an opportunity to create more than just a cute love story. For one thing he fails to explore the implications of social status, as passengers like Aurora go first -class while Jim is second-class. But the curious story is easy to handle, and if you care to delve further on the premise of Jim's situation, such as the moral implications of his action or what you might have done, surely that can be imagined on your own time.

REVIEWED ON 4/1/2017       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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