Passengers review by Bobby Blakey

I love a good sci-fi flick and it is rare that we get too many that are not already a part of a big tent pole franchise so when we do it is important to get out there and support it. The latest getting a huge push is Passengers featuring Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, and Andy Garcia, but does it offer up the promises of the trailer or will it not be worth waking up for?

Passengers follows the Starship Avalon in its 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet known as the "Homestead Colony" and transporting 5,259 people that has a malfunction in two of its sleep chambers. As a result two hibernation pods open prematurely and the two people that awoke, Jim Preston and Aurora Dunn, are stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from their destination. The trailers for this film really hyped up the dread aspect to what might be happening to the ship that can kind of lead you in the wrong direction to what this film really is. I was pleasantly surprised about the direction they took it that essentially breaks down into three separate parts. The first half of the movie features Pratt alone in a Castaway like situation that works great and allows him to really shine. There is some humor here, but as he spends more time alone gets to really showcase some great emotions. When Lawrence joins the story the direction of the film shifts a bit out of just the issue of them being awake too early, but also two people who have nothing but each other and how it affects their relationship. They have great chemistry together which is a must for this film to work on any level.

It’s these two parts of the film that make up the bulk of it all and that is not a bad thing. I really enjoyed seeing how they grew together and how they took a horrible circumstance and turned it into a real life together. There are never any real secrets or twists forced on the audience and instead just you witness what is happening to these two people. The ups and downs of their life together is then just complicated even more with the arrival of another character played by Lawrence Fishburne. This shifts the film into more of the action and dread that the trailer showcased and while exciting is really the smaller and more clichéd part of the film. It is not bad in anyway, but you pretty much know what is going to happen despite hoping for some not so Hollywood direction.   

This was a surprising film in that I was expecting something quite different and think what I got was a lot better. The cast is great, the visuals and sets are amazing and the overall story delivers everything I could have wanted. This is a unique original films that is not something we get all that much in Hollywood, so get out there and check it out and decide for yourself.

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