SIP Movie Review Blog

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Jonathan Hinshaw - Sunday, December 25, 2016

We watched one of the best movies of the year on Christmas Eve, Passengers, starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galazy, Jurassic World), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex-TV, Underworld),  and Lawrence Fishburne (Matrix, Event Horizon).

The movie is set in the future, where earth has been way too crowded, and a large spaceship has set out on a trip to a new planet about 120 years away.  I say huge, with over 5000 passengers and a crew of 230, they are a city moving through space.  The passengers and crew are all put into hibernation, so they will be fresh over a century later.  Only, “Houston we have a problem”, a series of incidents causes Chris Pratt to be kicked out of his pod early, about 90 years early.  He soon realizes he is all-alone, the only thing he has contact with in the human sense is an android bartender played by Michael Sheen. 

We watch as he spends his days playing digital games, dance offs and basketball against the computer, and spending a lot of time talking to the android Arthur, the bartender.  His life is pretty much terrible, even though he has a huge ship all to himself, it gets really lonely.  Chris tries to break into  the control module where the crew is sleeping, but that proves to be impossible.  His only joy comes when he takes a walk in space, stepping off the ship while tethered, but still able to float free, it looks like a blast.    

After a year passes, another incident occurs, Jennifer Lawrence, a writer, is awakened.  Shortly after Lawrence Fishburne, one of the crew is awakened.  We are given clues along the journey, but they don’t mean much to us as the film unfolds. 

As you may have guessed, Chris and Jennifer fall in love.  Sorta predictable, since they are all-alone and will be for the next 90 years.  Then Lawrence comes in, they begin to look at what had happened to the ship, try to see if it can be repaired.  Chris is perfect for that job, since he is a mechanical engineer, sort of a mechanic, and can do things with the electrical and mechanical systems.  Jennifer is a writer, she wanted to be the first writer to go to a new planet, then come back after spending a year there, would have been a significant event in journalism.  

There are several scenes that are exciting, one where Jennifer is swimming in the ship’s pool and the gravity system fails, trapping her in a bubble of water.  You had to see it to understand, it is a really cool effect.  Some of that was done by the computer, but still nifty. 

We really enjoyed the movie, sort of a love story, action and adventure, and a mystery.  No language to be worried about, but we do get to see Jennifer and Chris in bed, both are nearly naked.  We’ll go with 4 light years, one of the best of the year.  

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