For the month of December, we were treated to a thrilling action-romance-sci-fi adventure starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. What more could one ask for? A better ending and some more style. Other than that, the movie is completely watchable.
The story follows Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as they both mysteriously wake up from cryosleep way too early on a spaceship heading to “Homestead II”. The film starts out as a “Castaway”-type film as Chris Pratt wanders around the ship alone, into romance as he meets Jennifer Lawrence, and then into drama/action near the end. While the movie is fairly predictable, the trailers do not spoil the big twist at the end of the second act of the film, which is very appreciated.
With two incredibly talented and attractive leading actors and a director fresh off of “The Imitation Game” from 2014, there were high hopes for this movie. On many accounts, the film met expectations. First off, the special effects were phenomenal! The shots of deep space with Chris Pratt was beautiful, and the no gravity pool scene with Jennifer Lawrence that many will recognize from the previews was truly terrifying. The acting was fairly good, with a few lines from Jennifer Lawrence not quite landing correctly near the third act. However, that is almost nitpicking at that point, as they both gave very good performances for the most part.
The points where the film falters is that holistically, it brings very few original elements to the table. It takes inspiration from some of the great sci-fi movies from the past forty years, such as “Alien”, “2001”, and “Gravity”, and together it makes a fairly enjoyable film. Another lackluster element of the film is the entire third act, which feels rushed and incomplete. The conflict in the film depicted in the trailers is solved in maybe fifteen minutes of screentime, and the stakes do not seem that high. If the third act was at least as good as the first two, the movie would have been way better.
In the end, “Passengers” is a very good looking movie with two likable and talented actors, yet lacks originality and has a rushed, unsatisfactory ending. If you were looking forward to seeing this movie, you will most likely enjoy it. If you are looking for the next “2001 A Space Odyssey”, you will be sorely disappointed. It is not terrible, but it is not great.