Tuesday 27 December 2016

Passengers ... Worst film of the year

PASSENGERS has two of the biggest movie stars in the world, but the nondescript and risible
screenplay, and the lack of chemistry between them, mean the film won't lift off.    Norwegian director Morten Tyldum's Robinson-Crusoe-on spaceship film deals with the consequences of being stranded in space alone and quickly moves on to the film's bread-and-butter issue: the romance between Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.
   Lawrence and Pratt are two likeable people, but the film envelops them in romantic cliches: romantic dinner, romantic film date, romantic view that will take your breath away and romantic gesture with a rose.

    There's also a twist that comes early in the film, which is not referred to in the film's synopsis and trailers, and after that happens, there's nothing to look forward to.
   Mechanical engineer Jim Preston (Pratt) and writer Aurora Lane (Lawrence) find themselves stuck with each other on a huge spaceship after a malfunction causes their sleeping pods to open 90 years early. 
    They're part of 5,000 settlers who are in suspended animation and heading for the vast expanses of a faraway planet because Earth's overpopulated and too expensive to live on. 
   Jim's reasoning for wanting to migrate to another planet sounds like what the early US settlers had
It suits you, Jennifer Lawrence tells Chris Pratt.
hoped for in their travels. His occupation is convenient as it allows him to handle many gadgets and be brave for Aurora.
     Aurora's reason to migrate is as absurd as her name. It's preposterous for people to put themselves through the rigours of interstellar travel just so they could write about it.
    Jim's the first to wake up, and his walkabout on the spaceship, and his pursuant thoughts about doing something drastic to himself, are similar to what Tom Hanks's character experienced in Cast Away.
   Jim shouldn't despair too much as he's lucky he didn't have to appear anorexic like Hanks in Cast Away and Matt Damon in The Martian.
  Jim eventually does something drastic after he can't stand the sight of his bearded self looking just like Hanks and Damon in their stranded films. Hanks and Damon didn't have a choice when they were stranded, but Jim glosses over his action so that his selfish self can be entertained. And that's about as much debate as viewers are going to get.
  As in all romantic films, one of the lovers will discover something about the other that will make the  
Space babe Jennifer struts her stuff.
former think twice about continuing with the relationship. I knew it would happen as soon as the two got together, and I even expected the former's reaction, but I thought it was incredulous for the former to overlook misgivings and fall back into the other's person arms.
    The reason for the pods malfunctioning  is also weak. Just because there's never been a malfunctioning pod among thousands of interstellar travel doesn't mean that it couldn't happen.
   The spacecraft is so sophisticated that you'd expect it to have a few reserves in the storeroom. It could splurge on a luxurious swimming pool, so I'm sure it could have spent a bit more on pods.
  Another discrepancy is about the food. Could a spacecraft preserve French food, fruits, milk and cereal for 120 years? I doubt it, yet we see Jim and Aurora gorging on their so-called fresh food after  it being stored for 30 years.

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