Passengers have all the ingredients of a blockbuster hit – a big budget, two stars, and a timely genre. Unfortunately, that’s all wasted in a poorly executed movie.
In fairness to its stars, they do their best to sell this movie. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are both charming and reliable. The setting looks chintzy, but the set design is convincing enough to present a space ship that resembles a luxury cruise.
When we get to the second act and the mystery hinted in the trailers is revealed, the twist turns out to be a plot device that reveals the love story of a creep.
That sounds as worse as it looks on screen as the movie glosses over and distracts the audience from its troubling rape-y premise. It paints Jim as a sympathetic character, uses Micheal Sheen as his endearing sidekick, and conjures Laurence Fishburne only to set-up his contrived redemption to make Aurora forgive him.
While the visuals and action scenes are well-rendered, none of them are creative and memorable. Even when they have gravity to play with, the result is still generic action scenes like any other sci-fi flick. It doesn’t help that Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence have no chemistry, even in their interviews promoting this film.
Passengers has potential underneath an ill-conceived rom-com. As a matter of fact, it only needed one change: shift the perspective from Jim to Aurora.
The result is a woman trapped in a forced existence, which will tackle consent, emotional manipulation, and all the obvious ethical dilemmas in its premise packed inside a thriller.
But that would mean making an effort.
Passengers leave you with an apologist platitude: you should make the best of what you have with the person you’re with, after all, you have no choice but to live.
Passengers is a creepy, rape-y, poorly conceived Titanic in Space because of a dubious script and flat romance.