If you are savvy with movies or just enjoy going to the movies to see your favorite stars, then you were just like everyone else and very excited to see Passengers. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in space – what could go wrong? If you are like me, sometimes your thoughts on movies to see in the theater and movies to wait until home video (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, you choose) are based on reviews after opening weekend. If you are also like me then you realize that every time you wait, you wished you would have went to the theater to see the movie because it is absolutely better than what you are hearing. So is the case with Passengers. I do not know what people hated about this movie. I saw the trailer that appeared to be half of an action movie and I saw the percentage that it was receiving and I opted to wait. I was wrong and so is everyone reviewing it badly. Here is my redemption review of Passengers and why everyone should see this movie immediately. It is very good if you know what to expect.
Passengers is one of those movies that the trailer could be deceitful. Pratt coming off Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy is now an action star. Jennifer Lawrence coming from Hunger Games is equally, if not more of an action star, than Chris Pratt. The trailer shows these two waking up early from a 100 year hibernation while traveling through space to get to a new planet. The two enjoy some romantic evenings together and then we see something go awry with the ship. Everyone is asleep and these two are seemingly left alone to save the ship and everyone on it. The voice-over also leads us to believe that there are ulterior motives and that they did not wake up by accident. I can tell you that this is not the movie that you will be seeing. That movie does look very good. The movie you get is very good, but it is not that movie. The actual plot is Cast Away meets Titanic meets Armageddon. Chris Pratt is in hibernation mode and his chamber malfunctions and he wakes up. He is stranded on the ship alone for a very long time and is extremely lonely and going insane. He sees a passenger hibernating and learns everything he can about her. No spoilers here because it happens in the first quarter of the movie. He wakes her up. Everything else that follows is exactly what anyone would do in this situation. You have to watch to see how their relationship unfolds and just how “action-y” the movie becomes.
The main review that I read about this movie was that “The charm of these two that we love is wasted on this movie.” That could not be more incorrect. The charm of these two is front and center the whole film. I believe this movie would not work as well as it does if it were any other two actors. Pratt and Lawrence play off each other so well that I would have thought they were in love in real life. Their charm is equally effective off screen while they were promoting the film. They simply play themselves. Actor’s believability is not a stretch when we see the heart of the actors in their roles and these characters are them. Any movie with these two in it from now on – Take all my money.
The Cast Away moments happen when Pratt is alone on the ship with a lot of things to do. He spends his time exploring the ship and trying to figure out what happened and why he woke up. There is a line that is beyond fantastic that gets your mind working. “If you were stranded on a desert island and you could wish someone there, would you do it, even though you know they are now stranded there too?” This line hooks you. I have a feeling everyone would do exactly what he does next. The movie becomes Titanic when the love story begins and you realize that this spaceship is basically a different version of the big boat that we all know is not unsinkable. The ship has its malfunction and we believe that we are seeing a dying romance that should live on forever. Armageddon happens when it is decision time to save the passengers and basically humanity of this new planet they are going to inhabit. The final moments of this section of the movie are not only suspenseful, but also heartbreaking. Cast Away meets Titanic meets Armageddon. The best way that I can figure out how to describe this movie to where it makes sense and makes you want to see this movie. You want to see this movie – Just please realize what type of movie you are seeing. Judge it for what it is and not what you think it is going to be.
Trailers can be deceptive. My new feature Redemption Review will review movies that are something completely different than what you see being promoted. There are a lot of them. The story that the Passengers trailer tells is very different than what you get in the movie. Rent or purchase this movie and go into it without any previous thoughts on what you know about it. It deserves more than the 31% that it has. This movie deserves a second life. Get on this ship and ride it the whole way. You won’t be disappointed.