Director: Morten Tyldum. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne. USA, 2016. IMDB: 7.0. My rating: 1.5/4.
– We were woken too soon… Ninety years too soon!
– We have too go back to sleep!
– We can’t!
(typical dramatic dialogue between main characters)
It’s not a complete disaster though, but the movie missed the main point. This was supposed to be an intimate story of love, relationship and solitude, but it expresses these things with a grace of an young teenager in love, who barely understands what he just discovered. He may look cute, but c’mon, to tell a story that complex you need far more maturity and sensibility. Probably only thanks to the teenager audience that the movie got 7.0 on IMDB and had the box office of $240 millions with $110-million budget?
I cannot stop having the idea of hop-off hop-on tourist bus with this movie. It feels exactly like you are dragged in a middle of some famous tourist location with obligatory touristy things to see, concluding with a final stroll on the main shopping street with its fancy and shiny stores. It may feel fun when you are doing it, but when thinking about it afterwards it often makes you feel… empty, like some sincerity and authenticity are missing.
“Passengers” is simply not gracious and thoughtful enough, it’s uses the same straightforward approach to almost everything with many cliches. Cannot open the door? No problem, let’s grow a beard, wait one year and look more like a true hipster. Feel lonely? No problem, let’s wake up that pretty girl. Still want to open the door? Call Morpheus! (Sorry Lawrence Fishburne, we all know you can play great roles, but why would somebody put you in a plot to solve other people’s problems Deus Ex Machina and then die in 10 minutes?) Need to repair the ship engine? OK, find some big piece of metal junk and then just attach somewhere in the huge engine room (easy, especially for somebody who has never repaired giant space ships before). And you could go endless with things like that.
The movie lacks intimacy. It’s as graceful and intimate as Transformers (any part). Chris Pratt is great in entertaining roles and I really adore Guardians of the Galaxy, but you cannot do an intimate story with the Hollywood blockbuster approach! Finally, there is not much of a blockbuster since nothing could ever happen with a plot of this kind (if only you don’t consider a fighting scenes between Pratt and Lawrence as a sign of blockbuster). Yes, the design of the ship is effective (I bet it is with a $ 110 million budget!), but it’s gray and sterile. Think Tarkovski’s “Solaris”, or even recent “Gravity” or “Moon”. Sam Rockwell didn’t even need a girl to make it intimate. But it seems that Pratt in most movies used same straightforward approach of a funny simple guy. At least he was not as obnoxious and pretentious as the character of Jennifer Lawrence. Supposedly the main intentions to highlight some her body parts more than others plus put tight clothes in various scenes. Wasn’t there any other solution to show grace and intimacy?