Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and written by Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange, Prometheus), Passengers showcases great performances of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as two travellers onboard a spaceship transporting them on another planet where they will start a new life.
The spaceship is huge and full of leisure facilities, like a basketball court, a swimming pool, a dance-floor, and a restaurant with android waiters. Everything would be just perfect….if the protagonists weren’t the only two passengers awake among 5.000: their hibernation pods wake them 90 years before the end of the journey and all other passengers are still asleep.
The deceptive trailer makes the plot interesting from the beginning, showing an ethical dilemma that affects the protagonist, and which we can’t avoid identifying with. The pace of the movie is fast and almost no scene is boring.
After months spent trying to find a way to go back to sleep, in the exact moment when Jim (Pratt) and Aurora (Lawrence) finally accept their fate and find their stability on the spaceship, something happens and they are forced to face their human defects and cope with them.
Meanwhile, they have to deal with another malfunctioning that will change their lives forever.
The influence of Kubrick’s movies is evident: Arthur the bartender is similar to the one in The Shining, and there’s a bit of “Jekyll and Hide” in some of the characters. Moreover, Tyldum and Spaihts borrow Kubrick’s love of exploring the creepy empty interiors of the human being, and the spaceship reminds in a certain way of the Overlook hotel.
But Passengers doesn’t seem to be simply a copy of another sci-fi drama, especially thanks to the romantic affair that gives great rhythm to the story, together with an unexpected end. Despite some negative reviews, it has a good plot and the acting is excellent. Maybe it has just paid the consequences of being released after Star Wars – Rogue One, which has been a complete success.