Film Review – Passengers

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Here is a review of the new film Passengers submitted by one of our community reporters. To read more of our reviews by local people click here.

PASSENGERS – featuring Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne

I enjoyed this movie but it is a bit slow. I think it would appeal to courting couples as it is about a romance involving Chris (as ‘John Preston’) and Jennifer (‘Aurora Lane’) who are marooned on board a spaceship where the other passengers and crew are in deep hibernation (in pods similar to ‘ALIEN’). The spaceship is like a luxury cruise liner offering glitzy cocktail bars, restaurants and swimming pools (possibly designed by Ivanka Trump). It is an emigrant ship bound for a distant planet called Eden 2 which the sleeping emigrants will colonize. In the 1950’s you could emigrate to Australia – the sea voyage took six weeks and the one-way fare cost £10. But the space voyage from Earth to Eden 2 takes 120 years which is why hibernation is necessary (the passengers are scheduled to awake and recuperate for several weeks before arrival, enjoying the tacky cruiseliner facilities).

This is a science fiction movie with only 4 actors, so it has the feeling of a stage play. Chris Pratt carries the whole proceedings on manly shoulders. A computer malfunction awakens him in mid-voyage and he finds himself alone on the ship, however a friendly bartender (Michael Sheen) gives him support and advice about his predicament. The cheery bartender appears to be human but below the waist his anatomy consists of whirring cogs, pistons and mobility wheels – so you could say he is half man/ half Dyson vacuum cleaner. Sheen chews the scenery in his role but there is a twinkle in his eye which seems to say the whole charade is utter nonsense! Sparks fly when ‘Aurora Lane’ appears – Jennifer Lawrence gives a signature fiery performance full of temper tantrums and face slapping at Christ Pratt’s expense. Thomas Newman, a veteran Hollywood composer, enhances ‘PASSENGERS’ with a traditional romantic orchestral score from the golden era of cinema. This movie definitely cut the mustard for me.

G.Hendry / January 2017.

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