Deny the Passenger Who Wants to Get Off With You…
A man travelling in space to a new planet is woken from his induced sleep 90 years early after his pod malfunctions. Only finding an android for company, a year later he wakes up a fellow passenger.
PASSENGERS – Official Trailer (HD), Sony Pictures Entertainment, http://www.youtube.com
Hot blooded, heterosexual men, imagine this… you are Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), a mechanical engineer, you signed up for a trip on the Avalon spacecraft to live in a new planet, 120 years away. You are pretty hot, but single. So, you are in a blissful but induced sleep in your space pod when the Avalon hits an asteroid, causing your pod to malfunction before you arrive at your destination. You wake 90 years too early.
You find you are the only person onboard – of the 5000 passengers and 258 crew members – who is awake after attending information session alone, eating breakfast by your self in an empty dining room and not seeing anyone in the soulless grey corridors. As the days go on, you get kinda hooked on the cereal which looks like cardboard and looks and tastes much less tasty.
There’s no staff members around to help you. They are still happily sleeping despite the ship being damaged – with their cabin locked so much your skills are useless – and the ship is on auto pilot. The customer service is also less than helpful, and damn expensive but hey you’ll die before the bill comes and needs paid. For company, there’s 3D staff and you have only a couple of games console dance partners to have fun with. Who aren’t as cool as that hot dancing one in Ex Machina (2015). who also offers much, much more.
After a year, you feel you are destined to live and die on the spacecraft alone. Forever. Forever alone. So you become depressed and suicidal. That is until you take solace in the spacecraft’s bar. The bar reminds you a lot of that one Jack Nicholson went to in The Shining (1980), and find company in the form of an amiable android bartender in a natty red jacket.
Sadly he’s an android called Arthur (Michael Sheen) – and therefore kinda reminiscent of Tony Blair – with just something like a spring from the waist down leaving you as the only human aboard. So while idly watching the other passengers’ video profiles on the ship’s computer – as you are more than a wee bit creepy – you spot a lovely looking girl, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). In her profile picture, she looks lot like that actress, Jennifer Lawrence.
And you become besotted with Aurora especially after checking her sleeping in her pod. And you are happy to see, she does look like Jennifer Lawrence. You’ve spent over a year alone. You grew a beard and looked like Grizzly Adams. You aren’t getting any…
After confiding with Arthur you have many sleepless nights and soul-searching almost one-sided conversations debating on whether to wake her up from her sleep. As on reflection, it’s more like he’s paraphrasing everything you say. He doesn’t usually do this, so obviously doesn’t want to get involved or get the blame if it all goes tits up. And eventually you do wake her up – but wisely after having a shower, a shave and a change of clothes – just because you are lonely and Arthur just isn’t that fun in the conversation department. Or that hot.
You then romance Aurora with the help of wee robots, a tree, a model you made of the Chrysler building and other romantic stuff. You say the most clichéd of romantic lines, especially in that restaurant where only you and Aurora are customers. Aurora’s birthday comes and you’ve made her an engagement ring … Trouble is that Arthur has a good memory… and he can talk.. and he does. It was your own fault really, you’d told him you had no secrets from her. That was stupid.
Girls, picture the scene. You’ve signed up for a space flight as an intrepid hot, photogenic journalist. With an amazingly cool name, Aurora Lane. You are single with your BFFs, all hoping you’ll meet the one. So you sign up for this flight to the Homestead II planet and its return flight. It will be the story scoop of the century. However unbeknownst to you, the spacecraft hit something in the asteroid field. This you are told later resulted in your pod in which you were sleeping malfunctioning.. as it seems you are the only one awake until you spot a handsome Chris Pratt lookalike. So as you just can’t go back to sleep, you decide to write a book.
It appears it’s just you and him. And a barman who looks like a former British Prime Minister, but he’s got no genitalia with only a spring from the waist down. After you find you are the only woman awake, you spend increasing time with the Chris Pratt lookalike, Jim who is also the only other human. Jim asks you on a date in a
contrived soppy way. Then you spend lots of time dancing, romancing… and after falling in love, your birthday comes. Jim remembers your birthday (yet you didn’t tell him it), could he be the one (as he guessed it correctly what’s the odds)… But Arthur inadvertently drops that bombshell…
So in this sci-fi romance film, there is in no particular order, soppy montages in space- which Darlin Husband says WALL-E (2008) did better – one or two surprising cameos (at some point in the film somewhere between the opening and closing credits) – and Chris Pratt’s bare bottom. There are lots of overly contrived moments – how convenient they chose those career paths – and there are lots of cool and nausea inducing special effects, which admittedly I marvelled much more than the storyline. And tension. Not just sexual or the Oh my God, Arthur just blabbed variety. The feeling of the claustrophobia is intense from the get go. And increases throughout the story. And you feel it. So must have been superintense in 3D.
This is the premise of Passengers (2016), a film which should leave you with a major ethical question in your head. But instead leaves you with a feeling of WTF after the final revelations, and scenes as the pair try to save the ship from its fate. As you yearn for that well publicised alternate ending. Which showed Aurora in a similar quandary on whether to wake up another passenger. This after Jim dies after stopping the ship from destruction, saving the passengers lives, and leaving her alone and the only one awake. And in my alternate ending, one could add to this, at the point where Aurora check outs the remaining sleeping pod people. She spots a man she becomes besotted with… Failing that Arthur goes berserk and kills Aurora, leaving a Pratt with a new dilemma…
Weeper Rating: 0/10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂🙂🙂 🙂10
Hulk Rating: /10
Bonus Trailer: No
Outer Space on Film Blogathon 2018, No 17
Passengers (2016) was be added to Moon in Gemini‘s Outer Space on Film Blogathon.. Other films including this cast include Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again with one cameo. The other cameo stars in John Wick Chapter 2. Chris Pratt stars in The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2′s trailer review.