I’m still trying to decide if I liked this movie or not. I love Chris Pratt. He’s one of those actors I noticed going back all the way to Everwood. He has this charisma about him that makes him pretty damn likable. If you want to read more of me gushing over him, read my Jurassic World review. A film I didn’t like by the way, but really enjoyed him in. Or at least I remember liking him in… I’m getting sidetracked pretty early already.
Now for Jennifer Lawrence. The girl has 4 Oscar nominations and won one for Silver Linings Playbook. Though I could have sworn she won for Winter’s Bone as well. For one, I do think she’s beautiful. But I’m not like an Olivia Munn fan and become an apologist just because I’d want to have sex with her. You see Jlaw on talk shows and she’s funny and kind of cool… this was all before her fame went right to her head, making her kind of… how do I put this. She’s a bitch. She’s kind of become this spoiled brat. But I digress, I will most likely see everything she stars in in the future, even if it isn’t very good. All with the exception of Serena. A film she did with Bradley Cooper. A film I hear is so damn bad that it might be one of the worst things any of these actors has ever done.
Now, obviously it sounds like a no brainer. You take Chris Pratt and you pair him with Jennifer Lawrence, duh. Obviously that will work! Right?
They seem to have more chemistry off screen than they do on screen. Whatever fun little sister big brother dynamic they have when doing talk shows is fun. But making them romantic interests just didn’t work for me. And for a movie that is essentially a romantic film, not having your leads seem to want to fuck each other isn’t a good thing.
Now I know the differences of the script to the film. I know they essentially changed Christ Pratt’s character to make him more… Well, Chris Pratt.
But c’mon, face it, Chris Pratt can’t pull off creepy stalker.
For some reason the plot to this kept reminding me of Z for Zachariah. A book I read… maybe even the first I ever read when starting high school. A young girl lives on a hill, away from the radiation that covers this post-apocalyptic world. That is until one day a man wearing a radiation suit shows up. Things seem fine at first, I mean, finally another person. But she’s pretty young and he’s an adult. You can see where things are headed. She also gets a bit freaked out when she inspects his radiation suit, finding patched over bullet holes.
In the end she decides to take his suit and find another place to live.
Is this how Passengers should have played out? Maybe.
Chris Pratt plays Jim. Jim has just woken up about 100 years too early on a trip to a new planet. The ship passed through an asteroid field, punching a hole through it. I guess somehow that made his sleep pod malfunction and release him too early.
With no way to really fix it and go back to sleep, he’s trapped on this ship with no one to talk to but the robot bartender Arthur played by Michael Sheen. He’s better than nothing I guess.
Jim is also a mechanic, so he’s pretty good with his hands. Not good enough to fix his broken pod, but still… You need it done, he most likely can do it.
Time for a little detour first before I go any further.
This world they created for Passengers seems pretty advanced. Way beyond anything we right now are capable of. They even have a force field on the front of their ship that stops asteroids. And don’t forget a robot you can actually carry on a conversation with. So why is it that it still takes like 100 or so years to still get anywhere? It’s not at all practical. I mean, okay, you got the hibernation thing. That’s cool. But what about the ship? That thing is meant to be flying around in space for 100 years? And they don’t expect anything to ever go wrong? And even the crew on the ship are in pods, so if something does happen, I guess everyone just dies?
The only way to really do space travel would be to have a dark matter engine. That would get you the speeds you need to go to cut your 100 year trip into only a few days. Or hours, I don’t know. But even that wouldn’t be practical. You’d spend years just to makes enough dark matter to use as fuel. And you’d need a shitload of money to make it happen. Like several nations worth.
Anyway, back to the film.
After spending a year by himself, Jim isn’t doing so well. His robot companion just isn’t cutting it anymore. Couldn’t they spend some cash on like a female hostess at the bar or something? I mean, why just make the bartender look human and not the other servers in the other restaurants?
Just having a female looking robot might have saved Jlaw a lot of trouble.
But there was no female robot. He was alone. So he gets it in his head to wake someone else up. But before he does that, he kind of cyber stalks her a bit.
She’s a writer, so of course he reads everything she’s written. In itself, not creepy. I mean, it would be a pretty good way to kill time on an empty ship.
But then he’s constantly looking at her videos, her getting interviewed, maybe even… c’mon. You know he jerked off to those videos of her. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t crank one out on her pod. It’s a good thing Laurence Fishburne’s character didn’t wake up with a black light.
Okay, enough about what I’d probably do in this situation, and more about what Jim would do. He wakes her up. But think about it. He wakes her up, mostly with the idea that she’ll have to fall in love with him. There isn’t anyone else, so clearly she’d have to give in and have sex with him.
And it sure doesn’t hurt he looks like… well, Chris Pratt.
But say Jim looked like this guy.
Is this film still meant to be romantic? Would she still end up falling in love with this character, leave everything else about him intact just replace his looks. Would she still fall for him?
I mean, yeah, a guy with a peg leg might think no girl could ever love him, but all girls? I’m sure there’s at least one out there who wouldn’t mind the wooden leg thing. There’s someone out there for everyone. But hardly ever are you only given one option. I mean, what was Jlaw going to do? Fuck the robot? He ain’t got no lower half!
That kind of gives the film this creepy kind of rapey vibe. He basically knocked her over the head and dragged her to his cave, saying you mine now.
It’s creepy, because it is meant to be creepy. At least that’s how it was meant to be in the original script. This getting the romantic sci-fi adventure treatment doesn’t really work. If they were going that way they really should have had her pod open right when Jim was about to kill himself. That way it takes away his involvement, therefore making their whole relationship less creepy.
I know that one of the big reveals in the script is you finding out he wakes her up. But here you know this right away. It really hurts the film.
So Jim awakes Aurora, which for some reason I kept thinking was the name of the ship. She’s a VIP passenger while Jim is a very low class passenger. For a year he’s only been able to get basically gruel to eat. But now with her high ranking he can get the good stuff. Another bonus in waking her up I guess.
They eventually fall in love, because I mean, what else are you going to do on a ship but have sex.
And on her birthday, Jim is planning on proposing to her. But while at the bar, she has a talk with Arthur, the robot bartender, where he spills the beans to her Jim was the one who woke her up.
This causes a rift between them, not talking to each other anymore. I’m not sure for how long this goes on. Months, maybe a year or so… maybe not that long.
At one point he even plants a tree in the middle of the ship. How the hell he managed that, I have no idea. Just right there, cut into the ship and planted a fucking tree.
While all of this is going on, the ship is experiencing some technical difficulties. Robots are malfunctioning, they’re losing power… they even lose gravity once, giving us the only really memorable shot in the film. Jlaw goes for a midnight swim when the artificial gravity in the ship stops working, turning the pool water into a giant orb of death with her in it.
Then suddenly, because the script demanded it, another person is woken up early. This time someone on the crew. Laurence Fishburne will save the day! I mean, he was able to save Neo, he can surely find out how to save the ship- And he dies.
He dies of like all the things. You name it he seems to have it. But he doesn’t die before telling them what’s wrong with the ship. It’s the engine. There’s a hole in it thanks to that asteroid.
And the only way to repair it… oh, they actually repair it pretty quickly. So what is the problem now? The engine needs to be vented. Okay, that shouldn’t be too difficult. But it seems like it might be a one way trip. Jim goes out there to vent the whatever but the venting shaft won’t stay open. He’ll have to manually leave it open, taking the blast to his face. Or space suit. But somehow he actually manages to survive it but gets jettisoned out into space.
Jlaw, now caring enough to go out there to bring him back inside, drags him to the ship’s medbay pod. Kind of like the one in Prometheus. She is able to bring Jim back.
Later, come to find out Jim found that the med pod also has the same feature as the other pods, he can put a person in hibernation. But only one person.
Instead of taking the offer, Jlaw and Jim live out the rest of their lives on the ship.
Okay, more issues.
The ending felt like something was cut out. The captain on the ship ended up being Andy Garcia. But you only see him for a few seconds and he isn’t given any lines. Something felt really off about that. Why have a recognizable actor play this bit part with no lines? Clearly more was to this but got cut out.
The ship makes it close to their destination, that’s when the crew and passengers are meant to wake up. So they do, only to find this jungle growing in their living quarters.
If I had to guess how this would end, you’d see like a generation of like their incest babies running around. It would then become that film Pandorum. Like Wrong Turn in space. Then the crew has to fight off these inbred cannibal monsters…
Do I recommend this film? I don’t know, after watching it I felt letdown. I love Chris Pratt but he just wasn’t right for this role. I didn’t think this film was terrible, but it was lacking. The randomness of Laurence Fishburne’s character showing up made me think I missed something. Just suddenly he’s there. Like he was tossed into the mix just to get the plot moving again.
Jlaws character was also kind of bland. Jim was on this 100 year trip because he really wanted to start over, be relevant in a world where a man with his skillset isn’t all that needed anymore.
Aurora on the other hand was going just so she could write a story on it. I mean, she was only going to stay a year there and then go back. But go back to what? It would mean yet another 100 year trip. That means everyone on this ship basically said goodbye to everyone they knew, because once they got on, they’d never see them again. I don’t know if that would be worth just wanting to write a story on it.
Plus, how long has this been going on? They make it seem like they’ve been doing this for awhile. And I guess they would have if it takes 100 years to get to their destination.
So for hundreds of years this has been going on? In that time they never came up with a better system to get people to this planet? And what exactly is this planet like anyways? What if you get there and it’s like Avatar, or that short lived Fox tv series Terra Nova, where there’s just giant ass fucking dinosaurs everywhere.
When you get there do you have to like build your own place? Jim made it seem like you had to. Like this was the old American west. Is there a government in place to run things? Is there law and order? I mean, what the hell are they walking into? This seems like a really bad idea to me.
I think I’d pass on the 100 year trip. And maybe this movie.
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