passengers-from-imdb

Image from IMDB

What if you were on a spaceship with no one to talk to? Just you and your lonely thoughts? “Passengers” answers that question.

The Avalon starship is cruising on a one-way trip to Homestead II, a new planet where 5,000 volunteer passengers decided to voyage and create a new civilization. The ship is so futuristic that it doesn’t need a pilot. It even fixes itself if there’s a problem.

Passengers and crew members are hibernating in individual pods for the long haul. A hiccup on the ship causes one pod to open early. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) awakes on this huge ship.

A hologram attendant (Julee Cerda) walks Jim through the early stages of post-hibernation. He finds his own room, takes a shower and rests.

Jim enters a room where another holographic woman is explaining what life is like on Homestead II. Jim asks where the other passengers are, but the hologram ignores him.

Jim scours the entire ship to find another human. Jim learns from a holographic kiosk that Avalon won’t land on Homestead II for another 90 years. After every failed attempt to go into hibernation, Jim wanders into a bar. He sees Arthur (Michael Sheen) the bartender who looks human, but is half android.

For the next year Jim orders a drink from Arthur, explores entertainment on the ship and falls into a deep depression. He’s completely alone. He wanders back into the hibernation chamber and looks into the pod of a sleeping woman. Her name is Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence).

Jim is so fascinated by her beauty that he looks her up on the ship’s database. He learns that she’s a writer from New York who hopes to write an amazing book about Homestead II and return to Earth. She suddenly wakes up early and they share each other’s company.

“Passengers” is a modern “Twilight Zone” episode and a love story with substance. A great combination. Pratt and Lawrence’s chemistry, unlike Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in “La La Land,” brings these characters to life. They mesh well and their love is believable. They have you rooting for them to the credits.

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Image still from YouTube

The special effects aren’t over the top (thank God!). The outer space scenes look peaceful and beautiful compared to those in “Star Wars” films. The cast is small but allows viewers to focus on the main characters’ stories.

“Passengers” should at least get two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress.

Unlike “La La Land,” the plot wasn’t wishy-washy and it hooked me from the very beginning.

Studio: Sony (1hr 56 min)

Story: While hibernating on a spaceship during a one-way trip to a new planet, two passengers wake up earlier than expected.

Cast: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Julee Cerda, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia

Rating: PG-13

Final Score: A