When Passengers hit the big screen last year, it received very mixed reviews from critics, with audiences also split on whether or not they enjoyed the sci-fi/romance release. Now that the film has been released digitally and physically, we’ve been able to enjoy the flick and give our own verdict. It truly is a bit of a mixed bag.
Starring Chris Pratt as Jim Preston and Jennifer Lawrence as Aurora, the movie quickly rushes into tense and suspenseful territory as Jim awakes 90 years early from his cryogenic slumber aboard the spacecraft Avalon. Signed up to embark on a space adventure that would take over a century to complete, he soon realises that he’s all alone in this world – save for an android barman played by Michael Sheen – even being pushed quite literally to the edge as he descends into secluded madness. Then, he does the unforgivable. Or so you would think.
See, this is where the movie falls off a cliff for many people watching. Jim makes the decision to manually wake another one of his sleeping companions after just over a year alone on the ship. This is Lawrence’s Aurora; a woman who falls deeply in love with Jim after spending some time with him, whilst he keeps his manipulative ways a secret – until barman Arthur spills the beans.
The betrayal is actually something that bogs down the movie rather than adding another layer to it. When Pratt’s character does the unthinkable and wakes up Aurora, the majority of viewers will refuse to forgive him for his act. So, seeing Aurora do just that a little later in the film, simply so she also doesn’t have to live alone, it all feels a little mucky. Whilst you could put yourself in his shoes and realise it’s simple human nature to want to be surrounded by peers – especially after being secluded and left on your own for over a full year – the film wants to ask big questions of the audience without giving them too many answers. Are the two together BECAUSE of Jim’s selfish act? Undoubtedly. So should we really be rooting for him as a hero of the story? Meh…
Looks-wise, the film is absolutely stunning when viewed on Blu-ray. Every scene captures the futuristic setting aboard the Avalon spaceship as our two leads hurtle towards a planet they’ll never actually step foot on. One scene in particular, when the gravity pull on board goes awry and Aurora is enjoying herself in the swimming pool makes for compelling, edge-of-your-seat viewing. Every special effect is implemented perfectly and never borders on overkill.
Whilst both of these stars are true A-Listers, it’s Lawrence here who steals the show. She’s given the chance to show every emotion available on her actor’s palette, and she does so with finesse. She truly is one of the modern-day greats who should have a spot in this industry for the foreseeable future.
Overall, Passengers is a wholly-enjoyable flick with one rather large black spot looming over it. When putting that aside and judging it on its merits, it’s a modern-day space adventure; a sci-fi flick where romance creeps in and stellar acting performances ensure you’re gripped to the screen with every moment. Despite its flaws it’s certainly a film we’d recommend checking out when you get the chance.
Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D Exclusives include:
- Deleted Scenes
- ‘Space on Screen: The Visual Effects of Passengers’ Featurette
Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and DVD Bonus Materials include:
- Outtakes from the set
- ‘Casting the Passengers’ Featurette
- ‘Creating the Avalon’ Featurette
- ‘On Set with Chris Pratt’ Featurette
- Book Your Passage Interactive Homestead Company Videos
Passengers is available now on digital, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and DVD.