Sometimes a film can have a tremendous amount going for it, with all kinds of things to admire across the various disciplines on display, but all it takes is one crucial flaw to almost scupper the entire thing. This is a very good example of that, a movie with some fascinating ideas, detailed and intricate world-building, some charismatic and likeable performances and a real sense of style to its visuals, but due to one particularly uncomfortable and ill-conceived plot point it’s a difficult film to wholeheartedly celebrate. Critics have really gone to town on it mainly for that one thing, which is a shame because there’s a tremendous amount of other stuff to admire.

The point that has been hammered home and focused on is that the plot revolves around Chris Pratt’s character being woken from hypersleep too early, and after a year of being on his own decides to wake up Jennifer Lawrence’s character deliberately for some company, knowing that it will doom them both to live out the rest of their lives together on the ship. This is obviously creepy and ethically very questionable, but the film does seem to be aware of this and it’s addressed appropriately once the truth comes out. Rather than a misjudged confusion of romance with stalker-like behaviour, it came across to me as a clumsy attempt to turn what would otherwise be a sentimental story into something more edgy.

PASSENGERS
A very intelligent, thought-provoking treatment of science fiction ideas8
A consistently beautiful sense of visual design and directorial flair9
Two lead actors with a considerable amount of charisma between them8
One very ill-advised and uncomfortable plot decision4
So much more to admire apart from that one mistake8
Bechdel Test passes
  • n/a
Bechdel Test failures
  • I can only think of one named female character
7Overall Score

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