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Passengers

Passengers (2016) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  116m  •    •  Directed by: Morten Tyldum.  •  Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Vince Foster, Kara Flowers, Conor Brophy, Julee Cerda, Aurora Perrineau, Lauren Farmer, Emerald Mayne, Kristin Brock.  •  Music by: Thomas Newman.
        A spacecraft travelling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 90 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger.

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Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Image from: Passengers (2016)
Where do I start with this mess of a movie? Aside from the plot being completely predictable, you cant relate to the leads, their romance is not believable, and choices made are completely out of character. I'm just going to go ahead and spoil the movie, because there's nothing great here to talk about, and I'm sure you would've seen it coming anyway.

I could've totally seen Michael Sheen selling out Chris Pratt, the robot with no real sense of tact or any real emotional understanding was going to sell him out. I could've seen Lawrence Fishburne dying within 5 minutes (he is the black guy after all), and leaving Chris Pratt to save everyone. I could've even seen him surviving the ridiculous amount of postmortem procedures done on him, which I'm sure would've done more harm than good and ensure he would never even live a normal life again. I could've even seen Jennifer Lawrence choosing to stay with him at the end, despite it being out of character, all for the sake of the predictable plot.

The movie does a good job of hiding that Chris Pratt was a manipulative sociopath. Just imagine, a guy is alone on a ship with 5000 people. For months, he reads and digs up into the files of a woman there, reading everything about her life and making a profile of her in his head. He decides this woman is perfect, and decides to wake her up from sleep to spend the rest of her life alone with him as her only company and keep her his companion forever. Were the genders swapped, it would've probably been "romantic", but as it's a guy, it's the synopsis for a horror movie, especially if it was average-looking guy. Except, the movie's way of making us sympathize with him: they make him hot. We don't hate him immediately because Chris Pratt is hot. He only gets a shot at redemption because he's hot. He lies to Jennifer Lawrence for a year, and when she finds out, she freaks out and reacts like any rational person would.

At this stage, the movie could've worked on this new revelation showing how the characters grow and develop with each other, or even let Chris Pratt be punished for his actions, but instead they decide they're going to redeem his character, by having him be the only person who could save the ship from shutting down completely. Lawrence Fishburne awakens and promptly dies, leaving Chris Pratt as the only person to save the ship as he's conveniently a mechanic and Jennifer Lawrence is totally useless.

It would've been easier to defend him from dooming Jennifer and robbing her of her lifelong dream, if she was useful in saving the ship. There is nothing in her skill set that allowed her to help anyone, short of pulling a switch at the end. Had her character awoken first, everyone would be dead. Being a writer is nice and all, but she existed solely and thoroughly as a love interest for Chris Pratt, it's almost as if him choosing her was supposed to represent the people who cast her. Her entire existence in the movie is to be hot.

In the end, she chooses to stay with Chris Pratt and not go back to sleep, despite him dooming her to die on the ship. That was not believable in the slightest, and goes almost against her character. There are girls like her in real life, never happy with their current privileged lives, feeling the need to abandon their friends and family to compensate for being perpetually unhappy. She's the equivalent of the white girl who backpacks across Europe, except here it's another planet. She even treats it as such, with her just staying for a year. In the movie, there were videos of her friends begging her to stay, but she left them to live out her dreams.

Jennifer Lawrence's character was a huge narcissist, and we see this when the Lawrence Fishburne is trying to fix the ship, but she wants him to focus on her personal problem of being woken up as opposed to saving everyone's lives. We see it again where she was willing to doom everyone on the ship over being alone. The movie tries to pass off she choosing to stay with Chris Pratt so that he won't be alone, but probably she knew that she can't be happy with a normal person, and a sociopath like Chris Pratt is better for her. That's the only way I could see her decision in the end making any sense. We cant relate to her, aside from her reactions to the news that Chris Pratt woke her up, and we are supposed to give it a pass because she's hot.

Their romance doesn't even work. Chris Pratt is a technical, more hands-on guy, he would've done better with a more technical woman. Or maybe the movie was glossing over that Jennifer Lawrence's only option was him, and really had no other choice. And how did they gloss it over? Oh simple, they're both hot! It would've been a decent twist if she didn't return his affection, but I suppose if he wasn't Chris Pratt that may have been likely. The romance only works because Chris Pratt is hot, especially at the end. My aunt told me that if she was left alone on a ship with Lawrence Fishburne, she would've went back to sleep immediately. The movie just expects us to accept that Chris Pratt deserved his redemption because he's hot.

When it really boils down to it, the movie relies almost entirely on their leads being as attractive as possible to distract us from the poor romance, sociopath male lead and narcissist female lead. It's basically a movie about hot people doing hot people things for teenage girls to get wet over and teenage guys to ogle Jennifer Lawrence.


Review by Dmitri Mohammed from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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