Passengers - movie review

12:04:00 PM Elaine Loke 1 Comments

When I first watched the trailer of Passengers, I should have known it'll be a typical romance [you die, I die] kind of movie, rather than a nerve-racking action movie.

So what's the movie all about? 
A guy wakes up a girl because he's lonely, then tries to guilt-trip her into liking him by sacrificing his life and become a hero. #shittymoviesummary 
The starship Avalon is transporting 5000 passengers and 255 crews to a new planet named Homestead II. As the journey takes 120 years, everybody is placed in a hibernation pod to prevent them from dying of old age, and they're only supposed to wake up a few months before they arrive. However, a malfunction in the hibernation pod awakens a passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years early. He breaks down after realising what had happened to his pod, and tries many ways to fix the situation. When all attempts failed, he decides to enjoy life on the starship instead. He grows a beard, plays basketball, dances with holograms and hangs out with a robot bartender named Arthur (Micheal Sheen). After a year of living alone, he sees a beautiful blonde lady named Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). He decides to wake her up.
The first part of the movie was more comedic than I expected. Although it showed the horror of being the only passenger awake, there were many scenes which contain a sense of humour, such as: 
  • Jim sending a video message to Earth to inform about the breakdown of his hibernation pod, only to receive an automated respond saying that his message will take more than 30 years to reach Earth. 
  • Jim being charged more than $6,000 for his video message. 
  • Jim attempting to order a cappuccino but could only get a simple black coffee because he's not a gold class passenger. 
There are more hilarious scenes, but I'll save them for you to watch in the cinema. Other than the occasional appearances of Michael Sheen, Chris Pratt was the star in the first part of the movie, and it somehow reminded me of the super boring Gravity movie. 
After Aurora was woken up, the second part of the movie displayed a strong romance between the two main leads. What else can a single male and female do in a huge empty (5,253 sleeping people) starship other than succumbing into a corny romance? #Typicalmovieplot 
After Jim manually wakes Aurora, he lies to her by saying that her pod had malfunctioned, just like his. She went berserk, trying all ways she can think of to fix the problem. After a while, she accepts her situation and begins writing a book about her experiences. Jim helps Aurora to enjoy life on the Avalon by showing her all the entertainments available. They spend time together and eventually fall in love with each other. After a year of awakening, Arthur unintentionally tells Aurora the truth (Jim was the one who woke her, not the pod's malfunction), and she went berserk again. She avoids Jim at all cost, while Jim tries his best to ask for forgiveness (by planting a tree...). 
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Romance, romance, romance. At this point, I started asking myself if I am watching the correct movie.
From the trailer, I thought it'll be an intense action movie, but after an hour into the movie, I started wondering if there'll be any action scenes. An hour of comedy and romance was not what I expected. 
Just as I was wondering, the third part of the movie finally had the action scenes! 
As Jim and Aurora are in a cold war, another pod failure awakens Chief Deck Officer, Gus (Laurence Fishburne). He spots multiple failures in the starship's system, and the three soon discover the starship's components are overloading due to a failed component. Gus attempts to fix it with Jim and Aurora's help, but his pod's malfunctioning life support causes him to have organs failure. Before he dies, he gives his ID badge to Jim, allowing him to access restricted areas to repair the starship. Soon, they find out the cause of the system failure. The fusion reactor was overheated and Jim decides to open the vent door from the outside to cool it. However, he has to stay to keep the vent door open as it will not stay open. They successfully vent the reactor but Jim's tether comes loose and his spacesuit begins losing oxygen. Aurora retrieves him back and resuscitates him with the Autodoc. Jim eventually finds out the Autodoc has the ability to re-hibernate a person and he offers it to Aurora. 88 years later, the passengers and crews woke up to a ship's concourse fill with plants. They find Aurora's book, which reveals her choice to stay with Jim. 
At this point of the movie, my expectation had dropped from 10 to 3. It was an easy guess for what the next scene will be. Somebody has to sacrifice and it will definitely be Jim, and the whole 'you jump, I jump' Titanic romance will emerge - in this case, 'you die, I die'. And with a typical romance story, it's expected for Aurora to choose Jim over re-hibernation. 
Despite the great screen chemistry between Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, the movie plot did not live up to my expectation. The movie can be clearly divided into three parts - comedy, romance and action. Personally, I find the movie lacks uniqueness, other than the setting of being in the Avalon starship. The romance and actions were quite cliché. Quoting Peter Travers, "star power can only go so far when the screenwriter (Jon Spaihts) and director (Morten Tyldum) snooze on the job". 

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