By Emma Juchau, BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–
With big-name stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, “Passengers,” directed by Morten Tyldum, was bound to be good. Adventure, romance, sci-fi and difficult moral decisions are all rolled into one action-packed, suspenseful film.
In “Passengers,” 5,000 people travel in hibernation pods on the spaceship Avalon on a journey to colonize the new planet Homestead II. 30 years into the trip, however, something goes wrong. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) wakes up 90 years too soon.
Struggling with the reality of his situation, Preston eventually decides to wake another passenger. One year after his own pod’s malfunction, Preston breaks that of Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), a writer, dooming her to share his fate.
The science behind space travel and the dangers of it are put to the test in this chilling, Titanic-like thriller. Two passengers, doomed to go down with the ship, are the only ones that can save it. Things on the ship are constantly going wrong: systems are malfunctioning, a hole in the ship is created by a meteorite that conveniently goes directly through the central computer, nevermind the two— no, three—near-death experiences Preston has, all within about 30 minutes of each other.
While the plot-line appears a little skeptical, Lawrence and Pratt make it work. Perhaps it’s the skill of the actors—or just their pretty faces—that make the story come alive. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable and honest, creating a love story that is both unusual and real.
In addition, the impressive visual effects truly bring the film together in a way that adds to the terrifying reality of being alone in space. The fears create a chilling, yet real story.
Many critics seem to dislike “Passengers” largely for the difficult decision that Preston made: to wake another passenger, ending her life as she knew it. This decision, however, while scary in principle, is truly the most human reaction to being alone. Preston wrestles with the idea for months before making up his mind. While morally wrong, it’s important that viewers keep in mind the reality and weight of his situation.
Human contact is an essential part of life, and it’s difficult to even imagine a reality without it. Preston is the only living person on the Avalon, and he lives that way for an entire year, never speaking to, seeing or touching another person.
He’s indescribably lonely and that’s a situation that few of us will ever have to experience, so it’s impossible for us to imagine that we would act any differently in his situation. While his reality doesn’t excuse his actions, we as viewers can’t possibly begin to understand the feelings or thought process of Pratt’s character.
Preston’s decision is intended to make us question our own morals and put ourselves in the characters’ shoes— and it works.