Yikes, critics are not liking ‘Passengers’. After reading a few reviews, I’m disturbed by their propensity to focus on one (not so) small yet incidental flaw in the story and not what its intention was. Allow me to elaborate. You may or may not read a lot of reviews that bandy about the words “Stockholm syndrome”. These, I suspect, are the same fools that barked “domestic violence” at ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. They take one idea that the film - a piece of entertainment - even tries to overlook and move on from, and then they strangle it until it turns purple and someone finally notices. Mountain, meet your realistic cousin, molehill. Let me put it to you this way: if - emphasis on if - you want to see this as a creepy Stockholm syndrome movie then go ahead, I can’t stop you. However, if you choose to see it for all the other entertaining things it offers, then I am here for you.
Welcome to the Starship Avalon, a premiere vessel charged with transporting 5,000 passengers and a couple of hundred crew members 120 years to the new colony Homestead II. When a mid-space incident 30 years into the journey cause a few malfunctions, engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’). Except for android bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen, ‘Masters of Sex’), he is alone and confused as things go from bad to worse - that is, until Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence, ‘The Hunger Games’) enters the mix. The pair fall in love and reluctantly accept their fate until more than a few flaws with the ship present themselves, and it’s up to them to save the lives of all their fellow unsuspecting passengers.
Phew! Do yo have any idea how hard that was to write without revealing any spoilers!? So, remember the movie ‘The Martian’ from last year? Yeah, this movie is pretty much that only it’s a spaceship instead of a planet and said ship now has double the (conscious) population which makes way for sex scenes and general all around sexiness. Woo hoo!
Great cast, great effects, romantic, funny, sexy, engaging, action-packed.
While most critics and reviewers are more than willing to give this flick a great big poop emoji, I’m a little more optimistic than that. Perhaps it’s my love of sci-fi or that fact that I’m completely enamoured with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence - and let’s face it, who isn’t? I thought the production design was great, pacing was on point, twists (while predictable) were timed perfectly and the humour was just enough. Sure, Pratt was a little miscast, with the filmmakers not quite sure if they wanted him to go “full Pratt” or not. And yes, it’s not the most original story, but what is these days? ‘Passengers’ holds water. Great cast, great effects, romantic, funny, sexy, engaging, action-packed.
There is, however, one glaring flaw in the film - and no, it’s not the Stockholm syndrome! But it’s so subtle I’m not sure if even the filmmakers noticed it. I’d love to hear if anyone else picks it. Safe travels, fellow passengers.