Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Vince Foster, Kara Flowers
Written by: Jon Spaihts
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexuality, nudity and action/peril
Running Time: 116
Date: 12/21/2016

Passengers (2016)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Pod People

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Morten Tyldum's Passengers takes a rather troublesome, one-way concept and fleshes it out with plenty of emotional anguish and a happy ending. The idea is that Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is on board a spaceship that is supposed to travel to a new planet over the course of 120 years. Along with his fellow passengers, Jim is in a sleep pod, designed to wake everyone up when they get close. Unfortunately, Jim's pod malfunctions, and he wakes up some 90 years too early; he'll never live to the end of the trip, and he's unbearably alone. He falls for Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), asleep in her pod, and after much time agonizing over the decision, he wakes her up and tells her that her pod failed as well. Of course, it's only a matter of time before she finds out the truth and gets mad at him for, essentially, dooming her. But in the meantime, the movie uses its many space-age white rooms and corridors, and the skills and raw appeal of its two stars, to create a believable relationship. The third act ramps things up as the ship begins to malfunction and our heroes must save everyone on board. Michael Sheen provides welcome respite as a friendly robot bartender. The film received Oscar nominations for Thomas Newman 's score, and for the production design.

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