D: Morten Tyldum

Columbia/Village Roadshow/Start (Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher, Neal H. Moritz & Ori Marmur)

US 2016

116 mins 

Science Fiction/Adventure/Romance

W: Jon Spaihts

DP: Rodrigo Prieto

Ed: Maryann Brandon

Mus: Thomas Newman

PD: Guy Hendrix Dyas

Chris Pratt (Jim Preston), Jennifer Lawrence (Aurora Lane), Michael Sheen (Arthur), Laurence Fishburne (Chief Gus Mancuso)


Passengers is far more enjoyable the less you think about it, without pulling apart any morality lessons it fails to address.

Jon Spaihts screenplay had been sitting dormant for several years waiting for a studio to pick it up, and it's quite obvious that there was studio involvement in the plot, but as mentioned above, the less you allow certain things to bother, the more entertaining the film will be.

Set aboard a long-distance spacecraft, an engineer, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), is awoken from his hyper-sleep chamber 90 years early due to a malfunction. Realising he is doomed to die alone on the ship with nobody for company but an android bartender, he ponders waking another passenger up, knowing fully well that they will face the same fate of never reaching the ultimate destination.

He awakens writer Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), and the two begin a romance beyond the stars until the truth is uncovered, leading to a conflict between the two of them, which has to be put aside when they realise that the ship is more damaged than they originally thought, and the must work together to save the lives of the other 5,000 people on board.

There is much to enjoy about Passengers, not only with its fine visual effects, production design, cinematography and acting performances, but also with Morden Tyldum's direction, which draws inspiration from many science-fiction classics such as Silent Running, Solaris and 2001, as well as having a wink at The Shining with the scenes involving Michael Sheen's android barman and the empty bar (almost mirroring The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's classic horror).

The only real blight of this film is that it really doesn't address the moral issue it raises, and skirts around it in favour of Hollywood romance, ignoring the crime and the creepiness. At least Jennifer Lawrence may be thankful that she gets to spend the rest of her life alone with Chris Pratt, rather than, say, Chris Griffin. 

Personally, I think it would have been vastly improved had it taken a different direction with the final act, and Aurora had her own moral decision to make, just as Jim had.


Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers
Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers