Less weight than Gravity
It’s big. It’s vast. It’s space. We love a movie set in space, doesn’t matter what the plot is, if we transport a film 3,0000 miles into the air, it becomes a whole other animal to us. Enter Passengers a tale about two guests on a spaceship in the middle of interstellar travel, who wake up 100 years to early than projected.
Passengers had everything going for it, an accomplished director, a strong trailer and two of the biggest stars in Hollywood staring in it, so why does the film feel so ultimately lacklustre?
I should say now there isn’t a single thing wrong with Passengers, it’s a perfectly capable movie and the experience is enjoyable, but for me there was just something… missing.
What Passengers does has is a script that works in it’s favour, talent coming out of it’s ears and a conventional story in an unconventional setting. Perhaps that’s my problem with it, we were expecting a sci-fi powerhouse and we got a romance in the sky.
Passengers is sort of like a watch, it has majestic piece and each part works in turn to aid the other mechanics but no matter how wonderful the inner workings are it will still tell you the same time as any other time piece you care to seek out. The entire film feels like a missed opportunity.
This is unforgivable when you consider that the film is predominantly a two hander between Chris Pratt and Jenifer Lawrence. If you only wanted two names in your movie, you’d hope for them, but again the entire affair feels beneath both of these two. They has consistent chemistry and each play their roles well, but even then there is something not quite right.
The film does poses flurries of action and even a moment of thrill, but nothing lasts a long as it should do, and we are far too focused on a deeper mystery that in itself is obvious. (The ships going wrong, turns out it’s broken.)
Of course, I’m reading the entire film wrong. Passengers is a movie about a man who is lost at sea, stranded in a paradise with only himself for company. That’s what the film should have been sold as. That would have made this film unmissable, but by the very knowledge we have that Jenifer Lawrence is also in the film diminishes the entire premise of what could have made Passengers brilliant.
While there is still some wroth while ideas locked inside Passengers cargo, even the feature of Micheal Sheen can’t quite pull it up to where it needs to be. It’s a shame because I truly believe that Passengers has the making that could have made it film of the year, but with other standouts in the genre (The Martian, Interstellar and even Moon) that Passengers still can’t beat out it’s competition.
Passengers is the very living definition of a up market indie movie, it has heart and character but no matter how hard it tries, it lives in other works shadows.