Luke Reviews – Passengers

Another review of a film that’s no longer relevant? Nothing new there. This time, I’m going to review the 2016 film Passengers.

In this film, dubbed a sci-fi romance, the futuristic concept involves the transport of over 5000 passengers, in a hibernated state, from Earth to a new habitable planet called Homestead II in order to colonise it and start a new civilisation. The film starts with the spaceship having some asteroid-field related problems, which result in system failures leading to the 90-year early release of two of the passengers, Jim and Aurora, who form a relationship amid their situation.

There’s a lot to be praised about this film. Firstly, it’s clear to see where the budget of over $110 million went – the stunning visuals. It has to be said that the special effects are the best thing about Passengers, which is often the case with sci-fi films – and I can’t stress enough how good this film looks.

The setting – giant state-of-the-art spaceship in space – needs the special effects to bring it to life, and it really works, creating a dramatic and beautiful outer-space location for the events of the film. The futuristic technology and the spaceship itself are wonderfully imagined and you can see that imagination and creativity in front of your very eyes in every scene; you can tell they’ve really thought about the theoretical logic of the concept they’ve created and they implement it brilliantly, making that ‘believable’ future tech which always enhances a sci-fi.

The cast of the film is ultimately what makes it. With such intense scrutiny on just the two characters for pretty much the entire film, they had to be just right – and Chris Pratt alongside Jennifer Lawrence do brilliant jobs in the leading roles.

Supported by Michael Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne and a cameo from Andy Garcia, they had to be spot on with their performances and they do just that, making their characters and relationship believable.

Passengers has an engaging romance narrative and an original, exciting plot which makes for good viewing. It twists and turns and does have a few surprises up its sleeve, but it can be predictable; I could often guess what was going to happen. The film has its pitfalls for sure: there’s a couple of plot holes, some lacking characterisation (I just wanted to know our two protagonists more!!) and the vastly critiqued and criticised ending to the film, but it does make for enjoyable watching nonetheless.

Pratt and Lawrence are great and the special effects are breathtaking. For a unique romance film set in a great sci-fi setting, and for any fans of Pratt and Lawrence, Passengers will be the film for you.

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