Nice stars, shame about hol­low movie

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT -

The mar­ket­ing for Pas­sen­gers im­plied some sort of mys­tery: while en route to a far flung planet at some point in the fu­ture, why do Chris Pratt and Jen­nifer Lawrence wake up from their cryo-sleep 90 years too soon?

That mys­tery is ac­tu­ally solved very early on: ba­si­cally Pratt’s cryo-pod mal­func­tions and then he gets horny. Which is so morally re­pug­nant the mar­ket­ing de­part­ment quite rightly re­alised no one would turn up to see their big bud­get sci-fi flick if they knew it re­volved around Chris Pratt be­ing a creep.

The movie doesn’t seem to un­der­stand he’s a creep though and a po­ten­tially thorny premise be­comes fuel for an­other movie where a male char­ac­ter makes a lousy de­ci­sion and is then re­warded for it. The nar­ra­tive in­creas­ingly re­sem­bles spaghetti as the film­mak­ers try to nav­i­gate Pratt’s char­ac­ter to­wards a happy end­ing, when he clearly doesn’t de­serve one.

There are sur­face plea­sures to be had: Pratt and Lawrence are pleas­ant com­pany at the worst of times, the SFX are well in­te­grated and the de­sign is slick. But the heart of the movie is com­pletely hol­low and it keeps ask­ing us to care about char­ac­ters who are just cogs in a weirdly amoral plot ma­chine.

Throw in a few jar­ring cameos and a go­daw­ful Imag­ine Dragons song, and you have Pas­sen­gers, a ter­ri­ble waste of two charm­ing leads (and three great ac­tors in sup­port­ing roles) in a movie that is at best con­fused and, at worst, hates women. – Tony Stamp

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