Passengers is a hit!
After a malfunction causes Jim Preston to wake up only 30 years into a 120-year hibernation aboard the Starship Avalon spaceship, he realises that he has no way of going back to sleep.
He will most likely die of old age, before reaching his destination - a distant world colonised by humans.
Realising that the lack of companionship will probably drive him mad, Jim, who is played by Chris Pratt, struggles for months, uncertain of whether or not he wants to continue living with the ship on autopilot, and the crew and 5,000 other passengers still asleep.
Even worse, Jim falls in love with a sleeping passenger, Aurora Lane, who is played by Jennifer Lawrence, after going through her passenger profile and spending weeks talking to her sleeping body.
He eventually decides to open her hibernation pod, after months of trying to convince himself not to. When she awakens, unaware that he purposefully woke her up too early, she is distraught at the thought that she too will live out the rest of her days with only the company of one other person and a hyper-realistic android bartender, played by Michael Sheen.
The story is fun and takes an interesting look at humanity’s ever-growing need to explore new worlds. The cast is small, including a short cameo by Laurence Fishburne, and the dialogue is short, but to the point.
Aside from a few scientific errors, like the ship losing gravity even though it was still spinning on its own axis, the movie is good.
It has a pretty slow start, with Jim getting to know his new home, the bartender, the outside perimeter of the space ship, and coming to terms with the unlimited food, drinks and time he has on his hands.
The plot is an interesting one that explores the need for human interaction, against the backdrop of our civilisation’s constant need to explore, conquer and colonise foreign places.
Although we never get to see the Homestead Colony, the eventual destination of the rest of the people aboard, we get a clear picture of the different characters’ desires.
Jim, a mechanic on earth, wants a new start, in order to feel useful while building a new world, while Aurora, a writer, is seeking the ultimate story to live and tell.
Fast forward 88 years to the ship’s awakening, and you see that the two got just that. Jim got the chance to build to his heart’s content, while Aurora spent her days writing about her life with Jim on the ship.
It is a romantic ending, especially when you consider that Jim found a way for Aurora to return to sleep, but she chooses to spend the time with him.
It’s a typical love story though, so if you are looking for anything different from what Jennifer Lawrence usually does, you are out of luck.