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Passengers to nowhere

Interstellar travel seems to be a similar goal all humans hold these days. The thrill of exploring new planets, discovering new galaxies, and in the case of Morten Tyldum’s (Imitation Game) space romance tale, colonization.

Chris Pratt (The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Academy award for best actress: Silver Linings Playbook) star in Passengers as the two most unlucky people in the cosmos. Their starship Avalon has had a malfunction, waking both voyagers 90 years too soon. Their destination, a colony planet 120 years from Earth.

The visuals are stunning, the action is intense, and the romance is…passable. Even with all of these elements (which would seem to be a formula for great filmmaking), Passengers comes up short in terms of story. Pratt and Lawrence make a valiant effort to to sell their unfounded love, but ultimately come across as star crossed lovers who don’t actually want to be with each other.

Even with the visual and emotional “scale” that Passengers attempts to portray, film goers are left unsatisfied and don’t really get a sense of the overall goal of the film. There’s no great omniscient power at work, no true love feelings, not even a creepy dystopian vibe. There are some moments/montages of real human experience, even some that could make for a great film. Where Passengers lacks the most, however, is in its pacing. In a film that could span literally 120 years, it chooses to focus on a couple of unfortunate individuals, in an unfortunate situation, without any rhyme or reason.

Passengers is rated PG-13 for sexual situations and language. Length 1h 56m.

–Review by Mason Potter