Morten Tyldum decided that after making the pulsating, brilliant Headhunters in his native Norway that he would downgrade, flying off to make the English-language The Imitation Game. After that was over-lavished with Academy Award nominations, he got the opportunity to direct a big budget sci-fi movie with none other than Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Sounds promising, right? Let’s fast-forward to Passengers then. This once eagerly-anticipated movie was an avalanche, as it turns out Passengers is nothing short of a monstrous crash. And those excited about Andy Garcia’s comeback will be bemused to fuck. It’s a shame those hibernation pods could not put you to sleep again as the movie experience itself (which gave me plenty of laughs actually) made me very drowsy indeed.
Humiliatingly proving that guys think with their dicks, stuck alone in space with 90 years to kill, Jim (Pratt) opens the hibernation pod of eye-candy Aurora (Lawrence) – Aurora being the name of Sleeping Beauty remember – tut-tut, so he can woo her with space views and get laid. I love(d) Jennifer Lawrence, but my respect for her diminishes somewhat with this experience. Tight clothing galore, she gets to crawl across tables and be seductive – even in a moment of personal contemplation you can almost see her nether regions. The story cannot spark, as it’s a ludicrous screenplay, every minor plot turn leads to dead ends. Characters speak the words of space and time travel and the biggest decision of their loves and the greatest opportunity known to man or woman, but there appears to be no passion or conviction. Lines like “How bad can this get?” or “How do we get out of this?” only echo your own sentiments watching this.
Even when Aurora finds out what Jim did, she’s furious, but the malfunctioning ship conveniently brings them together. Later, a message from home offers Aurora good wishes that she will find the right man. Oh come on! The supposed self-sacrifice from Jim is a joke too, I did want to close my eyes and I did want to miss a thing. Thomas Newman’s score is tiring, repetitive, like clanging bells in the distance – please stop. Sets are very nice and grand to look at, but Academy, this was not a real spaceship. The special effects illustrate that they had way to much money to spend here. Jim’s initial bearded isolation is slightly reminiscent of (Space) Cast Away. Then Blue Lagoon (in Space) when Sleeping Beauty wakes. Titanic is brought to mind with the sinking ship reference. There’s even throw backs to The Shining with the bar scenes. And when the android spills the beans, I remembered Ash choking Ripley with a rolled up magazine. It was comforting to be reminded of much better cinema, to which Passengers pays zero homage.