Passengers

Film, Science fiction
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(15user reviews)
7 Love It
Save it
Passengers

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are marooned on a spaceship years from help in this disappointing romantic drama

This interstellar sci-fi misfire dreams up one of the most intriguing ‘what would you do?’ scenarios in recent movie memory – and takes it precisely nowhere. The setup is essentially ‘Red Dwarf’ meets ‘Robinson Crusoe’, as cryogenically frozen interplanetary colonist James (a bland Chris Pratt) is accidentally awoken 90 years too early by a computer malfunction, and is unable to re-enter his sleep pod. After a brief spot of cabin fever and a lot of lonely chats with barman-bot Michael Sheen, James starts to realise that he can’t survive out here alone. But if he reanimates a companion, won’t he essentially be stealing that person's life?

You can probably guess what happens next, given that Jennifer Lawrence is all over the trailer. She’s Aurora, an author dedicated to documenting humanity’s great exodus to the stars – but her chance of doing so has now been cruelly snatched away. She’s stuck in a giant, drifting hypermall-cum-hotel, centuries from help, with a man she barely knows.

It’s in the scenes following Aurora’s emergence from cryo-sleep that ‘Passengers’ is most promising, the ramifications of James’s actions offering up all kinds of fascinating dramatic opportunities and dark moral mind-games. Sadly, writer Jon Spaihts and director Morten Tyldum (‘The Imitation Game’) opt for none of the above, preferring a creaky romantic drama that’s more dubious the more you think about it, followed by a spot of ropey late-in-the-day spaceship action.

There are a handful of really interesting scenes, including a night-time attack in James’s cabin and some breath-stopping zero gravity hijinks in the ship’s luxury swimming pool. But for the most part ‘Passengers’ is so anodyne, so frightened of the ethically troubling opportunities inherent in the setup that it just ends up feeling forgettable and silly. Made with half the budget by a filmmaking team wiling to take a few risks, this could have been sharp, sadistic and special. As it is, you’ll be longing for a nice nap yourself by the end.

By: Tom Huddleston

Posted:

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Wednesday December 21 2016
Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Morten Tyldum
Screenwriter: Jon Spaihts
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence
Chris Pratt
Michael Sheen

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:9
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|15
1 person listening
Marco D
tastemaker

Enter the intergalactic world with Passengers where you wonder and ask yourself the most difficult questions possible. If you were in the same position, what could you have done differently?

I did find it quite slow to follow, while trying to understand the reason behind the story. Why did it take so many years for the passengers to reach the destination? The so called 'new home' was a magnificent mystery. I didn't have a clue what was going on at times, but I did find it interesting. I watched the film clearly to understand the meaning behind it all.

Suddenly something is wrong, the ship experiences malfunctions and two passengers awake. This first passenger 'Jim Preston' is played by (Chris Pratt) and the second is the gorgeous (Jennifer Lawrence) who plays 'Aurora'.

They awakened 90 years early, yes I was in total shock when I heard this. They have no other choice, but to get along and build strengths to face their future.

Just imagine yourself trying to save thousands of sleeping passengers.

Pratt is incredible in his role and Lawrence is strong, bold and extraordinarily elegant. The chemistry between the two creates a very peculiar bond.

Michael Sheen was also equally important and I did find him quite amusing actually.

All in all it's a jam-packed, intense-ish storyline that captivated me.

#TOTastemaker

Love MD.

charlotte_sometimes
tastemaker

No. No. No.

In the same week that we get the kick-ass 'Rogue One' we are lumbered with a dodgy & lacklustre science fiction movie that has come straights out if the vaults of 1980s b movies.

Overly dependant on the combined charms of Lawrence & Pratt, it runs out of steam before it even starts.

Sara A
tastemaker

I read somewhere that this film is essentially a love story in space and was hoping there'd be more to it than that. But I was left disappointed. Whilst the film is entirely watchable, it doesn't really stick around in your memory very long. The characters are two-dimensional, the plot is full of conveniences to help the love story along and to be quite honest, not a lot really happens it it. There was so much potential for this film but they've opted for the safe route and focused much more on the aesthetics of the movie than anything else. It's not awful but I can't honestly say I'd recommend it either.

Tegan C
tastemaker

Passengers is a film that is suffering from high expectations. Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Sheen give performances that are as good as what you expect from actors of their calibres. As with other reviews, my main issue with the film was the shallow take on the moral dilemma of the story with the timely spaceship mishap allowing a neat and tidy wrap-up. Loved the  Sci-Fi/Art Deco design of the bar though!

Danilo Reis
tastemaker

I always find Sci-Fi films amusing. Just to think about what things are going to look like in the future and have a laugh at the funny stuff that they come up with is worth the walk to the cinema. However, there are two types of Sci-Fi fims. There's the superficial ones that stay in the realm of special effects and action and there's the more serious ones that expertly explore the philosophy and critical issues that comes with human development. 'Passengers' belongs in the former category. It is an engaging story, with a neat general look. Aesthetically the film is ok, but its content is very shallow. The film relies heavily on the acting but I could see no chemistry between the couple. Michael Sheen, however, is great as a barman robot in a bar that's the futuristic version of Kubrick's Gold Room Bar in "The Shining". The film is entertaining and will probably please the younger viewer.

Diana G
tastemaker

Passengers (3D) is a pleasant enough way to spend an afternoon or evening - if you have nothing else to do. both Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence play their characters well but the story-line is a well-rehearsed one; problem on space-craft, boy meets girl, or in this case wakes up girl,more problems  etc. and so on. The best part of the entire film is Micheal Sheen as android barman.The space views are, at times worth seeing, the internal spacecraft is not so interesting, My partner almost fell asleep! I didn't but could have done with a film twenty minutes shorter. It is

not a memorable film and certainly not worth  a second viewing.

Chlo Fo
Tastemaker

Passengers transports us into a future world where distant planets have been unlocked to the residents of Earth as a new home option. The catch is it takes 120 years to get there and so the budding Earth ex-pats must enter into hibernation on board the starship Avalon in order to get there. This 'unsinkable' ship is supposedly protected against all eventualities, hibernation pods are super sophisticated, until one goes wrong that is and poor old engineer Jim (Chris Pratt) wakes up 90 years too early without the ability to just go back to sleep. He's all alone on the ship and going stir crazy until one year into his limbo future he is joined by Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). All the usual guff ensues and yeah it's pretty predictable how it goes (but I won't spoil it for you). OK so this film might not be smashing it from the point of view of film buffs and critics, but I loved it. Don't get me wrong I agree with them in terms of the lack of focus on the Sci-Fi element. It's sloppy in that perspective, they should have a least had a little chat with old hat Professor Brian Cox to add a little more robustness and believability to the sciency bits. However, at the end of the day I'm a girl who loves a good chick flick, yes I'll be honest and admit that's what it is really, but it does it well. There's the right level of lust, angst, 'will they won't they' and slushyness. Granted if it hadn't had the talent (and looks) of Pratt and Lawrence it might not have dazzled so much and there's no doubting it's not exactly Oscar material, but I enjoyed it and would watch it again.

Alex PD
tastemaker

Is it a romance? Is it a sci fi? Is it a psychological thriller? Passengers skirts around all three at times, not always committing entirely to either genre. This is both its best point and its slight downfall, and the ending doesn’t sit quite right with me considering the behaviour of the characters to date.

It is however wonderfully shot, with some beautiful scenes and Lawrence and Pratt are both so gorgeous they could carry this film with barely a plot at all, which is helpful as the premise is more than a bit shaky. The dialogue is sometimes cringy, and the whole thing is a bit creepy – unfortunately I don’t think intentionally. 

It's certainly worth a viewing but it's doing nothing groundbreaking.

Jane G.
Tastemaker

I enjoyed this SciFi romance. It's a kick back and shut your brain down kind of film. Space journey gone wrong, boy stranded alone forever, no volleyball like in Castaway, so he has the moral dilemma of whether to wake up the beautiful girl. He does, she finds out and is mad...all is forgiven in the end and the die happily ever after.

Joanne  M
tastemaker

Quite a good movie if you are looking for a romance movie with issues along the way. Would say though wait and see on DVD. The film made me think if I was in the same position and waking up with everyone else asleep would I wake someone up for companionship I think I would.

Mazzie Cee
tastemaker

I’ve always wanted to check out ‘Passengers’ as I found the trailer intriguing. However, now seeing it, there really isn’t much to the story. You can explain this in a matter of seconds. The first part of the film where Jim is roaming around on the ship alone (and even when he is joined by Aurora) is slow.

The pace picks up later when the ship needs saving but I feel solutions drop into the laps of the main characters far too easily. I initially thought maybe the film struggled due to a small cast, but films like ‘Moon’ were great and had the same set up. 

There were some funny parts mainly delivered by Michael Sheen, as the bartending android.  The zero gravity swimming pool scene is also quite cool.

However this film is incredibly lightweight and a bit of a disappointment. 

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

Enjoyable film to watch on a Sunday afternoon with a friend. Wouldn’t say it will be a blockbuster but it isn’t at all bad.

Great cast and good film.

Kateryna V
Tastemaker

I don't get why everyone is badmouthing this movie so much. I went to see it on January 1, suffering from a massive post New Year's Eve party hangover and looking for a comfort food of a movie, and it fit the bill just fine. This is not a sci fi drama of Kubrickian proportions, but you’d know that if you’ve seen the trailer. It makes it pretty obvious this is a cheesy romantic drama which just happens to take place on a space ship drifting in space. I do like that the whole film revolves basically around 2 actors. And while this is not a career defining performance for Jennifer Lawrence, she and Chris Pratt - the two Hollywood celebrities everyone wants to be friends with - are innately and ultimately watchable. The story is plot-driven (so, no, there's no character development and the creators are not tackling the moral dilemmas that, one could argue, are inherent in the set-up). But there's enough happening on screen and nice visuals abound so I wasn’t bored. It’s a solid 3 stars from me.


MatureLinda

I couldn't get in to see Sully as fully booked, so chose to go to this film instead - big mistake!  Very predictable, laughable plot.  Strangely, I wasn't very bored as the action and set were mildly interesting.  Michael Sheen was the highlight for me.  Not sure who this film would appeal to.

FloA
tastemaker

I was originally very excited to go and see this film but turns out Passengers is an extremely cheesy movie...

Do not think you're going for a space movie or sci-fi movie: it's a 200% romantic / drama movie.

I thought the intervention of the captain was pretty useless and the end is always quite obvious...

I must I was quite disappointed despite the fact that I really like both Jenifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.