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.)

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.

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.

Jim had woken her.  And when he did, 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.

The only sequence one could enjoy is the tense minutes in which Aurora, taking a swim, is suddenly trapped inside a water bubble when the gravity shuts down.

It's a cool, tense sequence.

It's not convincing at all when Aurora decides to forgive Jim.

Just as I'm not sure whether or not I'll ever forget Tyldum for making me sit through a two-hour exercise in how to sit through two hours of torture.

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