Monday, May 1, 2017

Passengers by Morten Tyldum (2016)

The concept of "Passengers" is a simple one: Robinson Caruso in Space (Or Gilligan's Island, whichever you like.)
As the Earth becomes more and more populated, the human race has turned to populating other planets.
Jim Preston is a passenger on a ship on its way to one of these planets.  
It's a 90-year trip and the passengers and crew are in hibernation until their arrival.
What could possibly go wrong?  Jim finds out exactly what could go wrong when his pod malfunctions and he wakes decades before the ship reaches its destination.
So Jim is stuck.
He'll die long before anyone else on the ship will wake up and his only source of help or conversation is a robotic bartender.
Then, it occurs to Jim that if he needs a companion, he'll have to deliberately sabotage a pod so a girl he's become enamored with can keep him company.
Yes, he's caught a touch of Space Madness after being alone for more than a year.
Still, his plan is the most cruel and selfish solution to his problem he could ever imagine.
So, he wakes Aurora and of course, the two bond.
Then, Aurora finds out that what happened to her pod was no accident.
Jim had woken her.  He robbed her of her life.
She wants nothing more to do with them, which is problematic seeing as how they're the only 2 conscious people on the ship.
"Passengers" tries to make a statement about isolation and self-service, but it falls short into a tedious, predictable plot with 2 characters who are simply not believable.
It's not convincing at all when Aurora decides to forgive Jim.
Just as it's not convincing that I'll ever forgive director Morten Tyldum for making me sit through a 2-hour exercise in how to sit through 2 hours of torture.