Passengers is the kind of film that when you are watching you honestly ask yourself, “How did this movie get made?  Who greenlit this film?”

The film LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.  Visually this is one hell of an amazing film.  But everything else?

You have two bankable stars in Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.  You have a very, very, very, very basic story.  Then there’s the budget: 110 million dollars.

Basically the entire film is Jennifer, Chris, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne…and the beauty of space.

Unbelievably, even with a movie that is basically about nothing starring just four people, the film managed to rake in 99 million dollars in the United States.  Most of that money is coming from star power alone.  You want to witness how a film makes money due to just its stars – this movie is a prime example.

Ordinarily I try to stay away from any sort of spoilers when talking about a film but this review is going to talk about the plot.  I would say the only people who should read this review are people who don’t care if the plot is spoiled, people who have already seen the film, and people who will never see the film but are just interested in me babbling away.

The film’s premise is horribly dumb and I’ll start it off with the concept.  The concept is Earth is overcrowded so huge spaceships have been built so we can basically send people to other planets to “start over” (or rape other planets of all their natural resources).   Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is an Engineering guy who is woken up out of his sleeping pod.  Now he’s supposed to be asleep for 120 years but Jim has woken up after just 30.

Now – once awake with no one else awake Jim doesn’t know what to do.  He can send a message to Earth but it won’t return to the spaceship until something like…60 years later.  And he’s unable to go back into his little pod and go back to sleep?

Why?  Because “plot.”  Basically the movie tells us “Since these pods have never failed before the people who created and built these pods never made a way to put you back to sleep.  You know, just in case you are woken up.”  The movie tells us, “Well NO ONE HAS EVER WOKEN UP BEFORE.”  But we are humans and we have Murphy’s Law.  It is almost idiotic that there is no way for a person to go back to sleep if you are, for some odd reason, woken from your sleep.  Of course it would be a very short movie if he could go back to sleep so I guess they had to come up with some stupid reason.  But, honestly, it is the sort of plot device that just makes your eyes roll.  They spend how many TRILLIONS of dollars to build the ship, these pods, everything on board.  Yet because “NO ONE HAS EVER WOKEN UP BEFORE” they are just hey, “Hey, fuck a contingency plan!”

Jim is awake for a full year.  The only “person” there is to talk to is an android bartender named Arthur (Michael Sheen).  Basically Jim watches movies, eats food, plays basketball, plays video games, and drinks with Arthur.

But Jim’s bored.  And he’s lonely.  Wandering the pods he finds a beautiful woman fast asleep named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence).  Jim becomes infatuated with her.  He watches videos that she’s made about herself.  She’s a writer so he reads her books.  Jim “falls in love.”  So what does he do?  If you guessed, ‘Does he wake her up selfishly?” you guessed correct.

Aurora wakes up and is made to believe something went wrong with her pod too.  She meets Jim and the two hang with each other.  For a long time.  Then Aurora falls for him.  The two are happy…for a year.  That is until Arthur reveals that Jim actually woke her up from her hibernation.

So then Aurora hates Jim because he basically killed her.  Which is essentially correct.  He’s a fucking asshole.  NOW…if I was bored to death on some spaceship and I saw Jennifer Lawrence I………might do the same thing.  So you can’t really blame the dude.

Finally a third person is brought out of the hibernation and this time around it’s Gus (Fishburne) who is an Officer on the ship.  Suddenly everything on the ship starts going wrong…two years after Jim was shuttered from his pod.  Suddenly it is a race against time to find out what is going wrong with the ship.

And now…I’m totally going to ruin everything…

Because they figure out what is wrong, they go to fix it, it’s a bit tougher than they thought, Pratt “sacrifices” himself, saves the ship, Lawrence saves him, and everything is happy ever after.

This is the plot of the film:  Guy wakes up, guy wakes up girl, third guy wakes up, ship is going to blow up, ship is saved.

I just saved you two fucking hours if you had planned on seeing this film.

Once again I’ll reiterate that this film is gorgeous.  Nearly every cent of the 110 million they spent on this thing is up on screen (minus the 35 million for Lawrence and Pratt).  Now it was decently successful here in the U.S. but obviously did not make back its production budget.  Once you calculate the overseas grosses in you can count the movie as “a success.”

Me?  I’m disappointed.  This is one of three sci-fi films from last year that I found lacking…the other two being Arrival and Star Trek Beyond.  Honestly I enjoyed Passengers MORE than those other two films.  Some will rave about how amazing Arrival?  But me?  I’m not a fan of “smart sci-fi” because I find the plot gets pretty pretentious.  It did with Gravity.  It did with Interstellar.  And it did with Arrival.  I can’t talk about these three films because I pretty much nerdrage at the plot.  Defenders will sit there and talk, “Oh but scientists said this is so realistic about the film and blah-blappity-blah” but I DON’T CARE.  I’ll just call them pretentious all day.  Passengers was NOT pretentious.  It just wasn’t very good.

Does it matter to Lawrence or Pratt?  Hell no.  They proved themselves bankable by getting a shit ton of people to see this not good movie.  Lawrence is featured next in Darren Aronofsky’s next film while Pratt is prepping to take over the world with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  I they hurt by this film’s mediocre success?  Of course not.  They are probably patting themselves on the back.

My recommendation on this one?  Rent it.

If you like this movie?  Then good for you.

As for me…I guess I’ll wait for Guardians 2 and hope that it is just a bit more fun for me.

RANK: C-