The drowning man will always try to drag someone down with him. It ain’t right. But he’s drowning.
At this point, I feel like enough has been written about the controversy surrounding Passengers and the unfortunate story element that triggered a lot of people. I guess I’ll just say that, yes, it’s distasteful, but I think there was a way to pull off that particular story element without being as offensive as it was. I think there’s a darker version of this movie in a parallel dimension and in that version, the movie really delves into the weird ownership dynamics between the two main characters, but this movie wants desperately to be a blockbuster or something, when it’s clearly nothing of the kind. Then there’s the version of the movie that simply doesn’t deal with the issue at all, but simply has the two characters awaken from their slumbers simultaneously by accident.
But then I think it just goes back to some really serious story problems, ie. it just feels like the movie has no point. It isn’t a character based drama; it isn’t really a thriller; it isn’t a rom-com. It’s science-fiction, I suppose, but of a particularly mindless kind. I think the film just badly lacked a hook in the latter third or so; I feel like there should have been some sort of a clever twist or something. Part of the reason I felt that way, to be fair, is because the marketing campaign basically just said that there was; the ******* tagline of the movie is “There is a reason they woke up,” when, in fact, there isn’t – it’s just a pure accident. But the movie just goes into this horrendous meltdown of special effects that is just loud and ugly and nonsensical and just annoying. This movie honestly has no idea what it wants to be, but it doesn’t want to be good very much, I’ll tell you that. Three small notes: 1. Michael Sheen is good; 2. Laurence Fishburne’s arrival is whiffed about as badly as it could be; 3. Andy Garcia is literally on screen for less than thirty seconds and if that doesn’t point to some really serious restructuring/reshoot/rewriting nonsense going on with this movie I don’t know what would. I would bet this movie was being desperately tinkered with right down to the wire. But the problems are too deep or maybe I should say too shallow. 1 star.
tl;dr – sci-fi movie has a game cast, but the script, tone & messaging of the movie are all disastrous; this movie has no idea what it is or what it wants to be, but I can tell you: it’s bad. 1 star.