There’s no doubt Sony hit the casting jackpot landing Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence for their new Sci-Fi love story Passengers. Pratt has been on a hot streak since The Lego Movie in 2014 and Jennifer Lawrence is the top actress in Hollywood leading multiple franchises and has an Oscar on her shelf. The two mega stars being in the same film together is enough to put butts in the seats, but then you add a unique Sci-Fi element into the mix making Passengers seem destined for greatness. Unfortunately, not all grand ideas come to fruition and Passengers is the perfect example of that.
Passengers is set in the future aboard a massive spaceship serving as an Ark carrying 5,000 passengers, plus crew to a new settlement called Homestead II. The journey takes well over a century, but it’s no big deal because you’re sleeping the entire way in your hibernation pod. However due to an unexplained malfunction (one of the many unanswered questions in Passengers), one unlucky passenger named Jim (Pratt) is awoken 90 years too early. Jim wonders how he will live the rest of his days in solitude on the ship, which leads him down a road of life altering decisions. Pratt has the first 30 minutes all to himself in Passengers as we get to see his character break down due to loneliness and the loss of hope.
The first act with Jim exploring the ship is quite intriguing, but without spoiling too much he’s not alone for long. Another passenger Aurora is awakened and so is the love story that derails Passengers. At this point Passengers decides to be three different movies at once and the weight of all these themes causes the film to collapse on itself. Director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) can’t decide if he wants to take a dark look at solo space travel or a sexy romance about two people alone in the world with only each other. The balance between the two doesn’t mesh well at all and when you add in the necessary action scenes needed in a huge Sci-Fi epic like this to sell tickets, you end up with some half hatched ideas that have you wondering what could have been in Passengers if the creators wouldn’t have tried to shove so much content into one film.
There’s a lot going wrong in Passengers, but the two bright spots are the ones that you would expect considering their resumes. Pratt and Lawrence are the only things worth watching on-screen during this space road trip that never ends. The two have nice chemistry together and you can see their trying to make the most of the material their working with. Too many plot points in Passengers go unresolved or ignored leaving the audience to wonder what was the point of it all. What’s worse is Passengers skips over the most interesting parts of the two lovers’ journey in the conclusion just deciding to abruptly end the movie without much insight. Hopefully, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence get a chance to work together again, because it would be ashamed to think this team up was wasted on Passengers.
Overall, I give Passengers a disappointing 2.25 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell