This review is spoiler free, unlike every other review I'm finding floating around online at the moment. It's true, this film is hard to resist spoiling. The main point the film pivots on is an age old question that you'll be discussing with your mates at dinner afterwards. What would YOU do in this situation. That's what makes the film so good.
My future brother-in-law described it best. “Oh it's that movie that looks like it was generated by a computer for maximum money. Genre… Scifi. Actors… The two hottest people in Hollywood at the moment, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Contents… Explosions and sex between two hot actors.”
Story-line in a sentence:
Two people wake up on their colony vessel 90 years before they're supposed to, and must cope with being alone with each-other forever.
The film really plays with what it means to be alone, and at what hurdles we cross to avoid being without someone. Both Chris Pratt and Lawrence have massive decisions to make in that regard. Neither of them have GOOD options in front of them. Pratt's decisions are early on, while the latter half of the film deals with Lawrence's. I could say the characters names but seriously, they're just Pratt and Lawrence to everyone. Better than Joe and Aurora.
The value placed on humanity and its interaction gets extrapolated further by the lovable Arthur played by Michael Sheen. It's easy to pass this character off as a wee bit of a comic relief character and nothing more, like the robot from Rogue One, but that really doesn't do justice to the writers. Subtle interactions throughout the film enforce the value the two protagonists place on Arthur's human facade.
Matt, our resident professional with an opinion was unable to go to the preview screening because A. It was at 1pm on a workday, and he's a fucking professional who has shit to do, and B. We only got one invite. “Ah well it's probably shit anyway, 1/5” he told me, upon hearing that he couldn't go.
After watching the film I went to the unusual measure of reading a couple other reviews floating around online, that presumably don't give a shit about embargoes. I don't normally like letting other peoples opinions colour my reviews before I get a chance to get my own thoughts down, but there were a couple interesting plot points I wanted to see everyone's opinion on. The answer seems to be they think it's “problematic”, to which I think they're “pieces of shit that missed the point.”
Anything worth discussing isn't going to be safe. No human is a paragon of virtue, and if that's what you want in a movie perhaps you should just stick to Marvel movies instead, that you can rely on to never take you outside your comfort zone.
The film pulls its punches as well. It could have been a much heavier film, but instead decided to go with a more audience friendly take. At the end it also opts for action over nuance, skewing away from what could have made it as good as Arrival. However this doesn't make the film a write-off. If this film at all piqued your interest, give the film a watch.
Passengers hits New Zealand cinemas January 1st