The Avalon is a starship on a 120 year journey to a new planet called Homestead II. There are over 5000 passengers and crew on board, all in hibernation pods. Due to a malfunction, two passengers – Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim (Chris Pratt) – are woken up 90 years early and face a journey in which they will never see their destination and the only company they have besides each other is an android bartender named Arthur (Michael Sheen).
Passengers has definitely been getting a lot of criticism, yes it’s not a perfect movie but I really think they’re being a bit harsh. The two leads both deliver great performances, they have real chemistry and the way they react to their situation feels believable. Michael Sheen may steal the show a little with his whimsical bartender philosophy. The movie has an incredible look, Director Morten Tyldum found the right balance of practical sets and CGI. The Avalon and its interiors look very advanced. Not to mention outside the ship, the views of space look amazing.
The first two acts, in which Aurora and Jim explore their new life on the ship tick along at a steady pace. It really is an interesting look at mortality, loneliness and the bonds we humans develop and in many cases crave. How would it feel to face spending the rest of your life stuck on a cruise ship? Now imagine doing it alone! There are the usual plot points of a romance movie and it does get sappy in places. But if you’ve seen the trailer you knew it would and the situation these characters find themselves in is quite unique.
The third act kicks the story into high gear when the malfunction that woke them up threatens the entire ship. A problem that has been building throughout the course of the movie. It does have a feel of Titanic in space…without the iceberg of course. This is where the issues crop up and the usual cliches of sacrifice, risky plans and Hollywood magic are found. But that doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable. The ending has been described as rushed and once the action is over the movie does end quite quickly, but I wouldn’t describe it as rushed. In fact a longer ending may feel like it’s dragging the story out.
If you want to watch a movie with an interesting story, great casting and beautiful visuals, you should definitely try Passengers. This is the type of sci-fi that feels like a glimpse into the future. Although not a problem our generation is likely to face, the same cannot be said for your Great-Great-Grandchildren!
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