The new Titanic – where it doesn’t sink
Morten Tyldum’s sci-fi love story “Passengers” follows the story of Jim Preston (Chris Prat) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Laurence) after they wake up 90 years early on the way the new colony planet, “Homestead 2”. The Film’s main conflict is the growing love between Jim and Aurora (because what else happens if two hot people get stuck on a ship together). However not all is fun as the ships starts malfunctioning and its up to Jim and Aurora to fix the ship to save the over 5000 people aboard the ship, asleep and still in stasis.
Jim wakes up a year before Aurora in this time, the film does well to show us the loneliness of Jim, with him talking to the charming android bartender, Arthur (Michael Sheen),and him loosing decency by not washing, and walking around naked. Arthur is a character which is hard not to like; being an android who is incapable of formulating proper responses, his replies are funny and, being programmed, always has something witty to say. The sound track (By Thomas Newman) stood out to me; the soundtrack does sound like your typical sci-fi, electro noise we’ve all heard over a million times before. However a few of the tracks are quite clever as it tries to mix typical romance music with typical sci-fi music. Lawrence could have done her role a bit better, in the film, she was neither here nor there, I couldn’t tell if she was meant to be a pretentious writer or a genuanly nice person. The writing was a bit shit, the people didn’t do what people did; I remember at the begining when Jim was deciding what to wear deciding to play it safe and not where a cool jacket because he wasn’t confident enough or wearing the cool jacket, however for the rest of the film he seemed quite confident with two scenes where he’s a bit shy.
I got exited in the film, there’s a bit in the movie where Aurora points out that Homestead (the company which is sending people around space) just see’s numbers and they’re an evil corporation however the simple mechanic Jim sees them as people with a dream. I thought it would be really interesting if they touched on that (the ethics of the company) but no. Aurora also criticises Jim for using companny slogans in her interview of him in which jim replies “can’t slogans be true”. This is a point where they could have asked some really interesting things for the viewer to question they blow it off as an annoying writer who thinks too much.
Now, if you’ve seen this movie – you know the subject i have been ignoring. Jim waking up Aurora is a corner-stone of the movie. The movie shows the Jim being heavily conflicted on the matter, knowing its wrong, the movie shows Aurora after finding out almost hit him with a crowbar; however it misses the more theoretical side of things. One of my favourite parts of any story, in any form of media, is the asking of theoretical questions (it’s why i like shows like Black Mirror and the good place) but this film I feel skips out on the subject. It shows Aurora all pissed off and Jim regretting it but it missed out on a really interesting subject to make the film go from alright to great and just let it be two hot people getting it on in space.
The thing that really lost it for me is how quick Aurora forgives Jim. In one scene Aurora is saying “It’s Murder” when discussing what happened to her to the officer Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) then 15 minutes later is saying “I can’t live on the ship without you” doing the helpless woman who need her manstereotype. Gus actually annoys me in this scene, he essentially gives Jim a pass saying he was suffering and it was he was desperate. This would have been ok if more points of view were presented however they weren’t, turning this scene from one perspective of the situation into a slap-dash reason for the film to make Aurora want Jim again. Honestly, I’d be ok with them ending up together if the film asked more questions about the ethics of what Jim did.
The iceberg for the Avalon (the ship they’re on) is a meteor so big it can get past the shield of the ship. This ultimely destroys part of the ship’s computer, so all the CPU’s in the electronic things start burning out so the ships computer becomes under even more pressure resulting in bigger and bigger problems. One thing that sort of annoyed me is if Jim is an engineer, who clearly understands electronics, wouldn’t he realise whats happening if all the CPU’s were burning out also for a ship that big wouldn’t they have emergency computers because computers can break for other reasons then meteors? Either way it’s quite clever and i enjoyed the problem. In the theme of titanic there’s also the frequent answers from the Homestead company of “that’s not going to happen” or “thats impossible” which i give a pass on as its part of the film.
END OF SPOILERS
This film has so much potential, they had such an interesting idea but failed. I get its meant to be a love story but its some really intersting ethical questions which they could have done so much more with; questions like ‘Should Aurora get together with jim just because there trapped together?’, ‘Is it ok that a company is running this whole adventure for profit?’, ‘Is it ok they have different tiers of passengers?’ and ‘is it ok that Homestead is marketing this whole mission as a breezy adventure?’. Overall this film is just a bit disappointing and maybe i would recommend this to sci-fi fan or someone who likes romances but overall it’s not great. I give it
Thanks for reading, it means a lot. If you see any spelling, grammar or literary mistakes, please tell me. I’m dyslexic and would appreciate this so I may improve.
by Frederic Hall
Facts taken from imdb