A cool mixture of science fiction, action, romance, suspense, and drama. Propped up by two winning performances and slick dialogue, Morten Tyldum’s (The Imitation Game, Headhunters) film is highly watchable.
Over 5,000 passengers are aboard the spaceship Avalon heading to a new life on a new planet. The voyage is to take 120 years and all the passengers are in hibernation pods for the duration. Or so they thought. Something happens, a malfunction, and one passenger is awake. 90 years early.
Jim Preston (Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World), a mechanic, is awake and alone. Realizing it is another 90 years until the Avalon reaches the new planet, Jim knows he will be dead before having a chance to start his new life. He tries everything to figure out what went wrong and get back to a state of hibernation. But nothing works. It is futile.
As time goes on Jim loses hope. Neglects his personal hygiene and becomes depressed. His only “companion” is the droid bartender, Arthur (Martin Sheen – television’s Masters of Sex). One day when wandering around the ship he spies a woman named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook). Watching her video and reading what she has written, Jim falls in love with her. His loneliness pushes him to making a crazy decision. Jim wakes her up.
Aurora believes something went wrong with her pod just like Jim’s. He does not tell her otherwise. They grow closer. Finally they fall in love. That is until by accident Arthur reveals to Aurora the truth. An irreparable rift grows. The two begin to live separate lives.
Things become dire when it becomes obvious there is something wrong with the ship. A crew member, Gus (Laurence Fishburne – The Matrix, Mystic River), wakes up and tries to help Jim and Aurora fix what is broken. Or else all 5,000 passengers will die.
This is another example of a film that the critics were not high on yet ends up rather entertaining. The two hours of the film will pass painlessly. That is a sign of a good film.
An interestingly different examination of the human condition. The backdrop is space, but it really could take place anywhere. Space just adds a different dimension though does not change the essence of the story. Philosophical and existential questions abound. However, they are looked at in an engaging and entertaining way. Nothing heavy handed. Plus there are plenty of suspenseful moments to keep you on your toes.
There are really only two characters in the film and Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence never allow things to become stagnant or empty feeling. They carry the film and establish great chemistry in the meantime. They make everything that is happening believable from the romance to the sci fi stuff.
-Casting the Passengers
-Space on Screen: The Visual Effects of Passengers
-On Set With Chris Pratt
-Creating the Avalon
-Outtakes From the Set
-Previews of sonypictures.com/offer, Inferno, The Magnificent Seven, Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk, Passengers Awakening VR Experience, Resident Evil: Vendetta