Movie Review | Passengers “2016”

by Mica Wilhite
120 years is a long time to sleep, but that is what you have to do if you want to survive the space trip from Earth to Homestead II, the ultimate destination for 5,000 colonists aboard the luxury spaceship Avalon in the new movie “Passengers.”

Watching the trailer for this film, it appears to be just another science fiction survival story with plenty of exciting explosions and Hollywood eye candy to capture your attention. It certainly delivers on both of those fronts as the Avalon is a sleekly designed space vehicle and Jennifer Lawrence (Aurora Lane) and Chris Pratt (Jim Preston) are strikingly attractive space passengers.

Jim, a mechanical engineer, has unexpectedly woken up because of a malfunction in his hibernation pod. One year later, Aurora also wakes up. The two fall in love but also work to repair a string of computer failures on the ship that threaten to leave them stranded in outer space failing to arrive at Homestead II.

In a cinematic year with both a Star Trek and a Star Wars movie release, “Passengers” is a truly original story idea. Unfortunately, though, this Jon Spaihts screenplay lacks the gravity seen in his other work, most recently “Doctor Strange.”

The film attempts to use CGI and casting to compensate for a script that fails to dive into the moral complexities of a man struggling to survive his solitude and a woman forced to live with his choice. It is worth considering whether Aurora is genuinely an understanding and forgiving woman or simply suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

“Passengers” (116 minutes) is showing at the Marshall Cinema with a PG-13 rating for nudity and action. Call (903) 935-5662 or visit for a full list of show times. Then go see this movie and consider the real reason the SOS distress symbol is included in the middle of the movie poster.


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