To start off a happy new year to everyone in 2017!
Now to start off I would like to say what my official title of this piece will be since I’m sure it won’t fit: Passengers (The Movie): A Review on Why This Movie Made Me Uncomfortable. As you can tell there will be SPOILERS.
If you have read any other reviews on the movie you can tell that it kind of fell short of some’s expectations. What looked like a cool sci-fi flick that would delve into the madness of isolation and space exploration turned more into a non-consensual love story. It was non-consensual for the characters in the story and for the audience members because I felt I had not signed up for this movie when I agreed to pay my price.
The story is set up as so: Chris Pratt plays a mechanic aboard a spaceship that is transporting 5,000 passengers to a new planet to start a new civilization. Like all movies set in the future the usual cause for this is that Earth has become overpopulated, dirty, and everyone is a hipster so they are totally over it.
This magical journey is supposed to take 120 years; however, an asteroid comes crashing into the ship like the patriarchy. It causes tiny problems that eventually add up to big problems, and a woman is going to eventually solve the problems while a man takes credit for it. One of these problems is the autopilot operating system malfunctioning and awakening Chris Pratt with 90 years to spare.
As you can tell I forgot Pratt’s character’s name, and for good reason. To be honest, it wouldn’t matter if the character had a Pratt’s name or his own because the whole movie was Chris Pratt pretending to play a different personality when he isn’t really.
Here’s where the trailer kinda leaves us and while watching the film I kept wondering at what point was Jennifer Lawrence’s character (Aurora) going to wake up. If anyone has seen Sleeping Beauty you can see the obvious, slap-in-the-face, nod toward that story by literally naming JLaw’s character after sleeping beauty. If you know where I’m going (please tell me you do) you can guess what happens next.
After a year aboard the ship, alone, Pratt has exhausted all the fun things he can do on the ship and has basically done everything imaginable to try to wake up the sleeping crew (they are behind impenetrable doors). He is left depressed and suicidal. The only companion he has had is a robot bartender named Arthur (played by Michael Sheen).
As Pratt literally stands staring death in the face, he steps back into reality and chooses to live. Stumbling back to the center of the ship he comes across Aurora’s pod. Immediately smitten by her face and knowing nothing else of her he decides he’s in love because the plot calls for more material to be added.
Being alone on the ship for over a year has done a lot to Pratt and one man can only rub it out for so long before he becomes raw so you can probably tell what happens next. After much “turmoil” and mulling it over in his mind for what is perceived to be months…
HE WAKES HER UP. Oh! did I mention that once you awaken from the sleeping pod that you can’t be put back to sleep? I didn’t? Well that what happens!
I should clarify, Pratt didn’t wake her simply because he likes her face, no, he stalked her profile in the ship’s passenger database and listened to talk about herself and read some of her writing (cause she’s a writer).
Well she wakes up and meets Jim (I finally looked up his name in the movie, it’s Jim). He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it anymore obvious? Yeah they fall in love, he doesn’t tell her that he woke her up, and then after a year of floating through CGI Space Hell™ Jim is ready to propose.
But that would be too easy and by this point in the movie I was yawning from the stereotypical heterosexuality in front of my eyes. I almost forgot I was watching a sci-fi film and thought it was a Disney movie, especially since, again, the main girl is named AFTER A DISNEY CHARACTER. Well, Aurora finds out and, understandably, she is pissed. Like really pissed. She avoids Jim and runs around the ship trying to get away from him. They share time with Arthur the robot bartender like he’s a child and they are in the middle of a custody battle. I can only imagine the awful things they said to Arthur about the other in an effort to try to sway his opinion like any parent does in the midst of a divorce (fingers crossed for bonus content of this).
Fast forward to the ship continuing to break down cause there is a fucking meteor in the power source and Jim never once questioned if something technical with the ship had gone wrong in order for him to wake up too early. Magically we have another pod malfunction and what luck! it’s the captain! Laurence Fishburne to the rescue! The captain is woken up for one soul purpose of giving dues ex machina. Seriously, that is the only thing he is there for because he wakes up, lets the two wacky duo know that the ship is breaking and he has the access code to every room left on the ship, then he dies. The one minority that appears in this already too long movie wakes up and dies. It’s almost like the casting director hired Fishburne and muttered under his breath: “That will show that we are accepting…”
Aurora is still pissed, but they gotta save the ship from being destroyed so they put their differences aside and save the day. I just love when movies with drama are so predictable that even when the climax is happening and there is a moment of “this character might die” you don’t fret because it’s going to have a story book ending.
Of course all characters (except the black guy) are fine in the end, even Arthur the lovable sassy robot bartender makes it out just fine. Aurora falls in love with Jim again and they live happily ever after.
Part 2 is going to explore my actual analysis of the story, I didn’t expect the summary to be so long…