BY THE COMMANDER
3 (out of 4 Stars)
Loneliness. It’s human condition that's been hypothesized for hundreds of years. There are ancient biblical references, current stories and films that have broached the subject.
Passengers is a futuristic film which examines the dilemma of human loneliness. It's not a new idea. It's been done numerous times in film and even in a single television series The Twilight Zone. The first episode (S1-E1) Where is Everyone (featuring Earl Holliman) dealt with this issue. It was also the subject matter in other episodes including (S5-E15) The Long Morrow (featuring Robert Lansing).
In Where is Everyone, a returning astronaut comes home to find that his hometown is void of people. As he struggles to find signs if human life he finds himself going insane from loneliness.
In The Long Morrow an Astronaut in suspended animation travels to a planet 40 years away. He falls in love with a girl prior to departure. He disables his sleep so that he may be of the same age as her when he returns. Unknown to him, she places herself also in suspended animation. Upon return, they are 40 years apart in age and no longer compatible.
Passengers is a similar premise. An automated spaceship caring 5000 hibernating humans for their 120 year journey to a new world encounters a glitch. One of the passenger Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is awoken 90 years early. After over year of unsuccessful attempts to return to his hibernation state, he must make the decision to live alone for the rest of his life or revive another passenger. His loneliness causes him to awake Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), and in doing so, condemns her to live out her life with him and forget her future on the new world.
I'm a Sci-fi fan so my review is slightly tainted in that I give these types of films a higher score than other critics. I like this film. I loved the Sci-fi depth of the film. The automated spaceship Avalon, the night club and the swimming pool in outer space. The creation of a half human bartender robot (Michael Scheen) added to the fantasy of being on a very sophisticated spaceship. The story was predictable, the plot thin, the acting was good and the conflict was expected. But the visuals were great. I’ve seen a lot of Sci-Fi films, so good, some not so good. This is one of the good ones. I always wonder after seeing these visually detailed films as to whether the future will actually look like what we see on our present-day screen.
As with all these loneliness themes there comes a conflict which is the focal point of the film. Since I never tell you what the film is about you'll have to go see it to discover it for yourself. This is a film that can easily be seen on your 65” home theater system for it is not in 3-D but the CGI visualizations deserve a 4K screen. See if you got one lying around, you could wait for it to come out on DVD otherwise go see it in the theater.