What Would You Do If You Were Stuck on a Spaceship Alone?
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris
Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence
Fishburne, Andy Garcia
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 116 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Morten Tyldum
Executive Producer: Greg Basser, Bruce Berman, Ben
Browning, David Householter,
Jon Spaihts, Lynwood Spinks,
Producer: Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher,
Oria Marmur, Neal H. Moritz
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures/TriStar/FilmDistrict/Screen Gems/Affirm Films/Provident Films)
Tom Rothman, Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
Set sometime in the distant future, the Homestead is a spaceship on a 120-year journey to a new, already colonized planet. Since the ship is filled with 5000 passengers and 200 crewmembers, the only way to make the journey is to be put into hibernation capsules that wake everyone up months before the ship arrives at the new planet.
When Jim (Chris Pratt) wakes up, he thinks they’re nearly at their destination, but he grows concerned when he realizes no one else is awake. He finds out his sleep pod malfunctioned, and he woke up 90 years early. Jim, who was a skilled handyman back on Earth, does everything he knows to do to send out a message for help and try to go back into the hibernation capsule, but nothing works.
More than a year passes, and Jim, who’s really let himself go, is on the brink of insanity. After nearly killing himself by jumping out into space, Jim stumbles upon a beautiful woman in a sleep pod named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). He researches Aurora on the ship’s database and finds video interviews of Aurora. She turns out to be a writer who’s making the long journey so she can find something interesting to write about later.
Jim begins to fall in love with Aurora. Over conversations he has with a robot bartender played by Michael Sheen, he grapples with the temptation of hacking into Aurora’s pod to wake her up so he isn’t so lonely. Jim fights the temptation, but eventually relents and wakes her up.
Aurora believes her pod malfunctioned just like Jim’s, and does everything she can to try to get her life back, but eventually, she too must accept her fate. After some time, Jim begins to woo Aurora, and the two begin a passionate romance. They even become happy. However, this happiness is short lived when Aurora finds out Jim woke her up.
Meanwhile, the other things around the ship start malfunctioning. It’s revealed that the whole ship is in danger, and Jim and Aurora are the only ones that can find the problem and fix it before they all die. Can Aurora forgive Jim for his horrible mistake?
PASSENGERS presents a compelling human dilemma with romance, and a science fiction twist about making the right choices and finding meaning and purpose in life, even if you won’t have contact with other human beings for the rest of your life. As played by Pratt and Lawrence, Jim and Aurora are interesting characters, but they aren’t the most convincing of couples. So, the relationship comes off as manufactured. By the end, however, most viewers will care enough about them that they’ll want them to be together.
The amazing sets in PASSENGERS have scope and depth, and the visual effects are stunning, making this one of the prettiest science fiction movies of all time. The fantastic composer, Thomas Newman, adds beautiful themes for the story’s moments of romance and excitement. However, he includes too many similarities to his score for SAVING MR. BANKS. In the end, PASSENGERS provides strong popcorn entertainment, but it could be better.
The worldview of PASSENGERS isn’t on the nose. At its core, though, despite some strong Romantic elements, it acknowledges the importance of making moral choices and posits the idea that a life of simply loving another person is a life well lived. It also touches on the fact that, in an age where everything is replaced instead of fixed, there’s value in being a fixer and a builder. Even better, the movie has elements of sacrifice, forgiveness and even positive hints towards marriage.
PASSENGERS has very little foul language, but it contains too many bedroom scenes. In three different instances, viewers see sexual activity between Jim and Aurora (ranging 5-10 seconds each), with partial nudity that makes one question how this movie is rated only PG-13. Ultimately, because of this problem, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for PASSENGERS.
PASSENGERS presents a compelling human story filled with romance, and a science fiction twist about making the right choices. Jim and Aurora are interesting characters, but they aren’t the most convincing of couples. PASSENGERS has a mixed pagan worldview where Romantic elements are combined with some moral, redemptive themes promoting sacrifice and forgiveness. PASSENGERS has very little foul language, but it contains too many bedroom scenes and partial nudity. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.