Movie review: Passenger (Spoiler alert)

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By Robert Moore

Passengers is the story of Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) on his journey from Earth to a new planet named Homestead II. As the story movie opens, we see a large spaceship traveling through space as it encounters a large asteroid field. Soon we realize that the ship is fully automated and a collision is imminent. First, the ship collides with several small asteroids which are not match for the ships shields.

But, after a collision with a much larger asteroid the ship’s electrical systems momentarily flicker and soon Jim awakens from his hibernation. He soon realizes that he is the only person awake on the ship and that no one else will be awoken for another 90 years.

As a mechanical engineer, take advantage of his knowledge to keep himself relatively comfortable as he tries to find a way to maintain his sanity. At first it seems like a space age version of the year 2000 movie Cast Away, but Jim has an amazingly easy time aboard the ship, even though he doesn’t know anything about it. Although Jim struggles with the reality of being alone for over a year, it is not meant to last.

Eventually, the beautiful writer Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) is awoken. This gives Jim companionship that he desperately needs. The progressing storyline introduces challenges for Jim and Aurora, but due to poor character development there is no sense of connection to them. As much Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt try to make you feel for the characters, the story does a poor job of stirring your emotions.

One thing that the movie excels in is the design of the visual elements. The set offers a futuristic yet realistic view on how life could be if we were to hibernate on a spaceship that was designed to travel for 90 years. The contrast between Jim and Aurora’s ticket classes is a nice humorous touch.

Only if the movie had spent an extra ten minutes on developing Jim’s character and exploring the obvious moral dilemma, it would have been a movie to love. Overall, this is an average movie that has great potential, but just falls short of expectations.