The title Passengers doesn't evoke the sci-fi plot behind it. Is it a love story, a suspense, an action film? Well, it's a lot of those things over the course of a lot of time but one has to focus on the journey over the destination and the film has a lot of it.
On a trip to a distant planet, Preston is awoken years before the proper date. He is crippled by the isolation and loneliness and the unspeakable occurs and things fall apart.
The trailer and premise tries to disguise giving away the thorniest conflict in the film but it can't be helped as it is part of the plot. The story moves into different phases, from a solo psychological conundrum to a sweet romance and even to a tense thriller. The sci-fi angle in the beginning is extremely appreciated but might not be readily accepted by the general populace as it is. They might prefer a simple one or the other. Perhaps that is why the solo segment was kept to a minimum before it took a traditional route.
Now the production design of the interstellar ship and the spacescape are quite astounding and that can't be denied. It might be kept in the background but the rooms, the machinery, the robots, the specific aspects like the holo entertainment center and even the swimming pool are amazing. Floating into space will always be a wonder and this film keeps the quality of the technological advancement to a fair standard.
Chris Pratt is too much of a nice guy, to be honest. He's too amiable to be a leading man with a dark edge but he's tries, even though he's just too loveable. Jennifer Lawrence gets to show off her flexible acting skills in the more tense segments more than he does but they make a very sweet couple. Almost too cute, at first. Michael Sheen as the robotic bartender gladly or sadly doesn't go beyond his pivoting pivotal supporting role.
Passengers is a great sci-fi flick that deserves a bigger audience so the potential for outer space as a setting for a variety of genres and themes can be explored. The sci-fi background is sound and the romance is a good draw so here's hoping more folks will take a ride in this unique journey.