Passengers (2016) – Review

In the distant future, a select number of humans attempt to travel to another planet for a better life away from Earth. The journey lasts for decades, so each of the passengers upon the spaceship named Avalon, are put into a state of hibernation. On the journey, however, something unexpected happens – one of the passengers, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), is awoken and must resign himself to not seeing the end of the voyage. Out of loneliness, he starts to question whether or not he should wake other passengers. A fairly unique and well-made film that is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Writers: Jon Spaihts
Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne

Many consider the year 2016 as being a spectacular one for movies and that’s certainly not a notion I’d disagree with. With releases such as American Honey (2016), Arrival (2016), Deepwater Horizon (2016), Gold (2016), Hell or High Water (2016), Silence (2016), The Great Wall (2016) and The Lost City of Z (2016) all being titles that have been reviewed on this website. One production that some believe flew under the radar to an extent was Passengers, the science fiction flick directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts.

Passengers certainly isn’t an action-packed thrill ride like many conventional Sci-Fi movies released today, instead, the drama-based story is a thought provoking one that raises many serious questions of ethics and morality along the way, some of which may leave you scratching your head in bemusement at times, but some of which may resonate strongly for some time.

With that being said, there were certain moments of dazzling cinematography and special effects injected, like many conventional Sci-Fi flicks. Beautiful, outer space scenery along with talking android robots being just two of the attractive traits. Not only these, but the futuristic and striking set design almost makes you want to board the Avalon spaceship yourself and explore it as much as possible – a real strength of the film.

It’s also worth noting that one of the rather unique aspects of the flick was the fact that only four characters featured prominently throughout the one-hundred and sixteen-minute runtime. Chris Pratt starred as the lead, Jim Preston, with Jennifer Lawrence adopting the role of Aurora Lane. Elsewhere, Michael Sheen warranted a fair share of screentime playing an android called Arthur, and Laurence Fishburne appeared sparingly as Gus Mancuso.

All in all, if you’re wanting to sit back and get lost within a movie that lasts for a shade under two-hours, I’d strongly recommend this one. Especially considering the easy on the eye cinematography and rather straightforward story it presents. As previously mentioned, Passengers is currently streaming on Netflix.

“I laughed at a man with no pants, until I realised I have no legs.”

Arthur – Passengers

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