By Ian Morton
Whilst Passengers benefits from pretty camera work and a strong chemistry between leads, a frustrating genre blend mixed with a poignantly irreversible twist make this much more disappointing than it should have been.
Midway through a 120 year journey to ‘Homestead 2’ – a colony planet of earth; passengers Jim Preston and Aurora Lane find themselves waking up from hibernation 90 years too early after the ship carrying them begins to malfunction.
Although Director Morten Tyldum does his best to blend a romantic drama in the foreground of a sci-fi survivalist plot, Passengers is ultimately left stranded in space as an incoherent story makes you realize that it might be two genres that should probably never be spliced together.
Whilst we could dance around the ever growing list of plot holes and screenplay issues all day, the route of all evil is undoubtedly the opening twist. Once revealed, it drives such a wedge between the two main characters that the audience is then never in a position to route for the main character again. The very fact that this happens as early as it does immediately kills some of the central themes of the story as you constantly find yourself revisiting the moral dilemma rather than move on through to conclusion.
Even though the story itself is plagued with issues, the positive magnetism between Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt is easily one of the more defining moments of the film. Both Pratt and Lawrence give decent performances in the lead roles while Michael Sheen provides the comic relief where necessary. Although this definitely doesn’t save the film, it does manage to you interested enough to stay until the end.
Overall, while the chemistry between the lead actors is enough to keep you watching, Passengers ultimately finds itself adrift with an irritating twist, an odd genre blend and a forever increasing list of plot holes. 2.5 out of 5.