A to Z Challenge – Passengers

Passengers - PosterPassengers

2016

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Quick Synopsis… During the 120-year journey of the “Starship Avalon” to a distant planetary colony, a computer glitch rouses mechanic Jim Preston from hibernation decades ahead of schedule. Desperate for company, Preston wakes up female journalist Aurora Lane.

  • This movie really had so much going for it.
  • I mean, it stars two of the most sought after actors in Hollywood circa 2016.
  • But I remember hearing that a lot of people didn’t like it after seeing it.
  • Personally, I thought it was okay… Not great, but I didn’t regret the price of admission.
  • Starting out, there are thousands of people in stasis aboard the starship Avalon, en route to the planet Homestead II.
  • All of this is being run by the Homestead company. That’s right… in the future, space travel and extraterrestrial colonization has been privatized.
  • Anyway, Homestead’s previously foolproof operation malfunctions when the ship flies through an asteroid field.
  • And as we know from The Empire Strikes Back and C-3PO’s helpful statistics, the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720 to 1.
  • But, like Han Solo, the Homestead Company doesn’t want to hear the odds.
  • The ship’s energy shields are designed to get through small space debris. But they collide with a pretty big rock.
  • It breaks apart when it hits the shields, but some of the pieces get through.
  • Everything is on autopilot and it autocorrects itself, but the malfunction manages to wake up one Jim Preston (Pratt).
  • But he’s the only person awake and discovers no one else will wake up for another 90 years.
  • He’s able to keep some sense of sanity with the help of Arthur (Michael Sheen), the android bartender.
  • But over the course of his first year, his sanity begins to wane.
  • This is why solitary confinement in prisons is a bad idea, y’all.
  • Just as Jim is thinking of committing suicide by ejecting himself out of an airlock, he catches sight of the sleeping Aurora Lane (Lawrence).
  • And I think this is where people began to have a more serious issue with the movie.
  • Jim becomes obsessed with Aurora. Sure, she’s pretty… But he also discovers a lot about her personally by Facebook stalking her.
  • Well… it would be Facebook stalking by today’s standards.
  • He figures out how he can wake Aurora. And it’s one of those moments where you just yell at the screen, “Don’t do it!” knowing that the outcome is still gonna be the same.
  • This isn’t a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure movie.
  • How great would those be?
  • The temptation to cause her pod to malfunction becomes too great and he wakes her up.
  • To be fair, he really agonizes over the decision to wake her. And as soon as he does it, he clearly regrets it.
  • Like I said, this is why I think people decided not to like the movie.
  • Trailers made it look like there was a single malfunction that woke both of these people at the same time.
  • When it turns out that Jim made the choice to wake Aurora… well, that’s less romantic and a lot more tragic.
  • For a while, he acts like it was just another mistake… like what happened with his pod.
  • But, the reality is, he has just sentenced her to death.
  • Yeah, it’ll take a very long time for her to die, just like it will for him. But her life is now drastically altered.
  • So Jim has already fallen for Aurora. Or, at the very least, he’s fallen for the idea of her.
  • Being the only two people awake, it doesn’t take her long to fall for him, too.
  • Then she finds out the truth when Arthur accidentally lets it slip.
  • Her reaction is as expected.
  • Jim tries to win back her trust by planting a tree in the main concourse… a place not meant for growing things.
  • It’s important, at this point, to point out that other things have been malfunctioning.
  • They’re all little things that aren’t noticeable at first. But they begin adding up.
  • Suddenly they’re joined by another whose pod genuinely malfunctioned.
  • Deck Chief Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) awakens to find the tree that Jim planted.
  • Being a part of the ship’s crew, Mancuso is able to discover exactly what is wrong with the ship.
  • And it’s a lot…
  • But there’s a lot wrong with Mancuso, too. He’s got extreme hibernation sickness. His body is shutting down.
  • Mancuso has alone time with both Jim and Aurora. On the one hand, he gets why Jim decided to wake Aurora. On the other hand, he understands that it was a horrible thing to do.
  • By investigating all the things that have gone wrong, they discover that complete ship failure is imminent.
  • Sadly, Gus dies, but he leaves Jim his ID bracelet that allows them access to everything on the ship.
  • As things continue to get progressively worse, Jim and Aurora manage to fix what’s wrong, saving the other 4,997 lives on board.
  • Jim is also able to discover that the “Autodoc” pod in the infirmary is able to convert into a stasis pod, and he offers to put Aurora back in hibernation.
  • She winds up declining the offer, not wanting to leave Jim alone.
  • And they live happily ever after.

This really was a case of the trailer misleading the audience. But, honestly, I wasn’t all that disappointed. I found it to be an entertaining movie. And who knows what you would do in Jim’s shoes? Fishburne’s character points out that a drowning man will always try to drag someone down with him. “It ain’t right, but the man’s drowning.”

What did you think of Passengers? And what do you think tomorrow’s movie is gonna be? There really aren’t that many movies that begin with Q. I bet if you just think about it for a couple minutes, you’ll come up with the right one. See you tomorrow!

AtoZ2019P

Click here to check out how other folks are tackling this year’s A to Z Challenge!

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6 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – Passengers

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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