Passengers (2016), Dir. Morten Tyldum

Passengers (2016), Dir. Morten Tyldum
A drowning man will always try to drag you down with him.
— Gus Mancuso, Passengers (2016)

Stars: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne.
Director: Morten Tyldum
Screenplay: Jon Spaihts

What would you do if you had the chance to travel to another planet but had to say goodbye to earth and sleep for 130 years? What would you do if for some unfortunate reason you woke up 90 years too early? What would you do if you were the only one woken up out of 1,000s and you had the ability to wake one person so you would not be alone...? Passengers (2016).

Passengers asks all of these questions and actually delivers on all of them. Going in I thought that I would hate the protagonist, mechanic, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt)—and yes he is the main character, not to mistake that from all of the marketing for this film being on JLaw (playing writer Aurora Lane)— for the choice I knew he was going to make. I was so ready, but I never did. I never did because they really did allow room for judgement and time within the plot to allow the characters for judgement. This was an insanely smart film within its slightly light Sci-fi frame.

There are so many things I loved about Passengers, from its opening introducing us to the ship while it silently moves across the galaxy, fixing itself as it goes. I loved the visual effects, the sets, most of the costuming, and the world building all done through very few images and lots of interesting dialogue. I also really liked the characters which came as a shock to me as they did nothing for me in the trailer.

Basically this was a breath of fresh air that I gladly inhaled. Instead of this feeling like The Shining—every time I saw the Michael Sheen android in the trailer that's what I kept thinking of—it felt so new and exciting. This was a movie, not a start of a franchise, not a reboot, prequel, adaptation, but a simple movie with a simple yet dreadful premise that took its time to tell it instead of just immediately ramping up the action.  

★ ★ ★ ★