Verdict: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt make this average film watchable.
Passengers had everything going for it. A lavish budget, a larger-than-life setup, and two incredibly good-looking actors in the lead roles. But still there’s something missing, and after the film ends, you realize that the lack of a solid plot is what causes its downfall.
Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) wakes up from hibernation only to realize that it will take ninety more years for starship Avalon to reach the planet Homestead II. Unfortunately for him, all the remaining passengers are asleep and he only has an android bartender, Arthur (Michael Sheen) for keeping him company. After encountering Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), Jim does the unthinkable. He uses a program to wake her up and little does she know about it. The rest of the movie shows how the couple falls in love, separate, and try to solve the various malfunctions of the starship.
The first one hour of Passengers is engaging and gives you little time to notice its flaws. It is only after the characters are established that the proceedings begin to bore you. Since there are just three primary characters in the film, it is up to the actors to bring life to the dwindling script. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence do an excellent job of playing clueless passengers, who have to find a way to go back to sleep. The chemistry between them is what helps the movie for most parts. Michael Sheen’s character brings about a twist to the script and it would be great if the director showed us why Arthur goes back on his word. A little confrontation between Jim and Arthur would also have been nice to watch.
Passengers is Morten Tyldum’s film after the Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley-starrer, The Imitation Game. While the 2014 film made it to the Oscars, it seems unlikely that Passengers will be greeted with the same critical acclaim. It's a film made to appeal to the masses rather than to impress the jury at award functions. Staying true to its intention, Passengers looks stunning throughout. It is one of the best sci-fi films to release after Arrival and the effort put behind the special effects is clearly visible on the screen.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch this one for its lead actors – Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. They are charming and easily the best thing about Passengers. The film’s runtime is a little below two hours, so don’t think twice before booking your tickets to watch it this weekend.