Passengers 2016

Directed by Morten Tyldum.

I missed this when it was first released in Australia in 2017, but Netflix has come to the rescue again. At face value, the premise is quite interesting, though nothing new – a man wakes unexpectedly from stasis, stranded on a spaceship with only an android barman (the always wonderful Michael Sheen) for company. In his all-consuming loneliness, he starts to look over files of a female passenger who’s taken his fancy. When he decides to wake her from stasis, shenanigans ensue and – narratively as well as ethically – the movie lost me. I simply couldn’t get past his decision. I really expected better from writer Jon Spaihts, whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past.

Stylistically, this film is an utter delight – hats off to Guy Hendrix Dyas for superlative production design and Gene Serdena for the set decoration. The CG is definitely on point and the music by Thomas Newman is unobtrusive (until the end credits song, which seemed jarringly out of place).

In some ways, I also think this film suffers from having Jennifer Lawrence and especially Chris Pratt as the leads, Aurora Lane and Jim Preston because they’re just too likeable, wholesome and (for want of a better word) nice. Pratt in particular, I found difficult to reconcile as the borderline suicidal Jim.

Above all, in this day and age, I really want better scripts than this.

Beautiful to look at but pretty on the nose narratively.

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