Film Review: “Passengers” (2016)

neg9fdpg9qkckg_2_bA very interesting film. You’re a 30 year old guy, one of 5000 suspended animation passengers on a star ship bound for a new world; a 120 year trip. You are accidentally roused from your sleep only 30 years out (with 90 to go) due to a technical malfunction and you are the only animated person on the ship. There’s no way to re-hibernate. You will live and die on that ship before it reaches its destination. Solitary confinement even with the run of the ship’s resources.

How long would it be before you figured out you could defeat the hibernation on another passenger to keep you company on the duration of the lonely flight? A beautiful young female passenger, of course. But of course, she would die with you. How long would you last marooned alone before you’d commit what amounts to first-degree murder to get some company?

Such is the ethical quandary of Chris Pratt. He lasts a couple of years, and nearing insanity and suicide, he finally resolves to pull the trigger, awakening Jennifer Lawrence, who of course, eventually figures out her release from hibernation isn’t an accident.

The quandary and it’s progression is very imaginative in the first half of the film, following which it deteriorates a bit into melodrama that’s pretty far fetched. We’re asked to believe that something this huge (references to The Titanic) had no potential to fix a monumental technological problem that should have been anticipated. The couple’s ability to actually “Fix” the issue is even more far fetched.

However, one has to make allowances for dramatic intent. Even with its inadequacies, the story line is imaginative, the special effects are good (especially the zero-gravity swimming pool scene) and the actors do a good job, especially Jennifer Lawrence. It’s an interesting story and some convincing suspense at the end. I thought it was entertaining and interesting. Definitely worth a watch in 3-D.

I give it three and a half massive water balls (containing a human goldfish).

But wait, good stuff potentially coming.

Probably this summer, the “update” of “Blade Runner” (1982) is coming with some heavyweights involved. Directed by Denis Villeneuve who did “Sicario” (2015), and “Arrival” (2016). It will be called “Blade Runner 2049” and will star Ryan Gosling and, of course, Harrison Ford, the Original “Deckard” in 1982. Arguments still abound as to whether Deckard was a replicant. Perhaps we’ll find out.




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