Thursday, 29 December 2016
OJ's Movie Review - Passengers
Get two of the most popular actors right now, put them on a spaceship together, and see what happens I guess.
Passengers stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as two passengers who have woken up from hibernation on a ship traveling across space to a new planet, they are the only two who have woken up, however, with about nine decades to go before the ship reaches the destination. I've been looking forward to this for a while; I'd heard about the popularity of the unmade script and the synopsis got me interested, I resisted reading the script but as bits of news trickled in, I kept interested, especially when Pratt and Lawrence were attached as I enjoy their work.
I'll start, as always, with what I enjoy and number one for me with that is the visuals. The design of the ship, both exterior and interior are amazing. It's a place I would love to visit, from the information interfaces to the architecture, I really enjoyed seeing that. The CGI is top-notch, I don't remember seeing any iffy effects so on that front it's great; they blended it well with real things as well, especially in a sequence (which was in the trailer) concerning a swimming pool and gravity, I thought it was a tense and well-done sequence. So all together I'd say that Passengers was, in general, a good-looking film.
What adds to that, of course, are its main leads. Chris Pratt doesn't do dramatic often but here he had to pull off some emotional scenes and I can't say he managed all of them successfully but he gave them a good shot and delivered some quite unexpected compelling series of events in the first act of the movie. Jennifer Lawrence appears alongside and she does just as you'd expect, she's a great actor, looks great, she did just fine in her role. She and Pratt had good chemistry, I thought and enjoyed seeing them together. An extra cast member includes Michael Sheen as the android, Arthur, and he was one of the best parts of the film for me. He was the source of the majority of humor and his constant positive personality was very entertaining.
Plot-wise, I felt there were three defined parts to it. The first act, was my favorite, it gave off a cast-away vibe and you could feel the isolation, perhaps if they'd have stuck with that a bit longer it would've been a bit more impactful but it was certainly the best part of the film for me. The second act slowed down a little, it was exactly what I expected from the film, going in; Pratt and Lawrence being a couple onscreen and all that entails from flirting to getting-to-know-each-other and all that. Some plot developments did occur, though, and it started to get going again and I was genuinely surprised at one point and enjoyed a certain aspect which I won't spoil here. The third act though happened so suddenly, it was actually quite jarring. There was nothing wrong with it itself, just quite quick and almost predictable.
And that's the thing with Passengers, it's not a bad movie by any stretch, but it isn't mind-blowing either. We've seen almost every element before. It felt clean, it felt safe. It was innocuous. There were some twists and turns but you realize the trailer spoils a lot when you're watching the film. All-in-all, Passengers was just OK, and that's it.