All Aboard For Interstellar Love and Visuals

passengers

 

Space! The final frontier…and the setting for so many movies in this day and age.  Welcome to another Robbie K movie review.  Tonight’s focus is on Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as they voyage the stars in a pretty cool (albeit odd) looking ship.  Based on the trailers this science fiction adventure looks to have romance, drama and mystery, but is this the case?  Can these two mega stars bring a love story to life?  As always read on to hear my take on Passengers!

 

LIKES:

  • Fantastic Acting
  • The love story component
  • Beautiful visuals
  • Beautiful score

 

No surprise here, the acting is one of the leading components in this movie.  Jennifer Lawrence’s edgy mood is very welcome in this setting, painting a character that is vulnerable yet strong when faced with the dilemmas. Her emotions are so well-balanced in this film, painting a realistic character that many will anchor too.  Yes, her cracking voice is getting a little stale, and she is playing similar characters, but it works so well.  As for Pratt, again the man impresses me with dynamic characters. Pratt substitutes his normally silly persona for a more serious nature, and it works well.  He sells his idolization of companionship, radiates misery from the isolation and betrayal, and still manages to come off heroic at parts.  And the chemistry between these two is a reaction gone well.  Pratt and Lawrence sell their passion for one another, almost as if they are actually in love with each other. Not easy considering Hollywood relationships these days.

Speaking of the love story, Passengers’ strongest story component has to be the relationship of the characters.  It’s a very dramatic tale packed with emotion that fluctuates between blissful happiness and heartbreaking revelations.  As stated, the actors’ chemistry helps sell the story, but the writers did a nice job designing this tale to be not only passionate, but believable.  Yes, my friends, Passengers isn’t a Nicholas Sparks fairy tale, but actually highlights the work involved with a relationship, nice work guys.  And for those who want passionate love making scenes, it’s got a few to spice up the film, but not so much to fall into the overdone (or pornographic realms).  Well done guys, well done!

Yet my favorite component has to be the beautiful visuals and music score that was designed for this film.  Hollywood certainly knows how to create eccentric looking ships on the outside, but seldom do they create a large world within.  The attention to detail is astonishing, each section meticulously designed to fit with the theme of the station. Even the engineering components have a logical explanation in regards to their purpose in the ship.  And these settings are further amplified by the orchestral score that accompanies it.  While many symphony tracks sound the same, Passengers adds a little something to help it stand out, especially during the spacewalk scenes where the music established both the beauty and spirit of adventure.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Slow at the beginning
  • No mystery
  • The science fiction dilemma is semi rushed
  • Fourth character almost unnecessary

 

We know some movies take time to build steam, but Passengers certainly struggles to get its ion drives going.  The opening sequences are devoid of any edge, serving to introduce the ship and the dilemma involving one of our characters.  However, this montage probably could have been cut down a bit to get to the exciting parts of the story (and cut down on the run time).  In addition, the boring opening could be due to the lack of the mystery.  Despite the teaser line put in the trailer, you’ll get 95% of the answers in the first twenty minutes of the film.  I had so looked forward to uncovering a conspiracy regarding their abrupt waking, but sadly the explanations are lackluster. The only mystery that remains is the technical explanations for what happens, which most viewers will not give a darn about.

In regards to the science fiction component, Passengers is both good and bad in this category.  The good is the ship, the technical jargon, and the looming threat of insanity in the void of space.  However, the bad far overshadows the good for me.  Passengers dilemma starts out pretty low key and remains low key for much of the film. Then at the drop of a hat things escalate to danger levels in mere minutes, a solution comes even faster, and the resolve is predictable and quite corny at parts.  Even the introduction of a fourth character played by Lawrence Fishburne can’t save the rushed plot development.  Fishburne’s role is touching at points, but the writers diluted his role to merely providing quick answers and a trinket to get the job done.  Such a shame that the mystery and dilemma could not have shined like the love story.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Passengers surprised me by how much I enjoyed watching the movie.  While a bit slow at the beginning, I enjoyed the love story and sense of adventure our characters shared as they hurtled through space.  In addition, the beautiful visuals and strong attention to detail further impressed me, designing a set worthy of special effects awards at the Oscars.  Outside the love story though, I was disappointed with the lack of mystery and rushed dilemma they placed in this movie.  For once, I think the movie needed to be longer, to help make a more suspenseful film and get a little more kick to the relationship.  This film is worth a scope for romantic audiences and those who like beautiful visuals.  However, in regards to story over all, save this one home viewing. 

 

My scores are:

Adventure/Drama/Romance:  8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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