Nice stars, shame about hollow movie
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