Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: 21 December 2016

Director: Morten Tyldum
Jennifer Lawrence
Chris Pratt
Michael Sheen
Laurence Fishburne
Andy Garcia
Vince Foster
Kara Flowers
Conor Brophy
Julee Cerda
Aurora Perrineau
Lauren Farmer
Emerald Mayne
Kristin Brock
Tom Ferrari
Quansae Rutledge
Aurora Lane
Jim Preston
Gus Mancuso
Captain Norris
Executive Officer
Communications Officer
Crew Member
Best Friend
Party Friend
Party Friend
Party Friend
Party Friend
Party Friend
Passengers movie poster Passengers movie poster Passengers movie poster
The interstellar space ship in Passengers Passengers is a tragic love story. It asks a difficult question. What would anyone do in a similar situation?

An interstellar space ship on a 99 year voyage to a new world runs into trouble in the form of an asteroid field. The company owning the ship has protected the ship from all possible calamities. The ship runs on auto-pilot. The ship is designed to repair itself. What could possibly go wrong?

Passenger Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) finds out the hard way. Facing a slow recovery from hibernation, Preston stumbles to his room following the automated commands. After a good night's sleep, Preston ventures out to meet his fellow passengers. There are no other passengers awake.

Chris Pratt as Jim Preston in PassengersPreston asks the automated help desk for answers. Since this situation has never happened and is deemed impossible by the company, Preston finds no answers. He finds his way to the orientation meeting but the hologram does not recognize Preston is the only one in the room. The hologram is programmed to acknowledge Preston when he raises his hand but rebukes him. He must wait until the presentation is over to ask questions. Only the discovery of a star map does Preston discover the full scope of his dilemma. He has awoken 30-some years into a 90-year voyage. There is no technology on the ship to get him back into hibernation. He is doomed to live out the rest of his life alone!

Life isn't too bad to begin with. Preston dons a space suit and exits the ship. Connected to the ship by a tether, Preston walks off and floats in space. The view he has is phenomenal. He has full run of the pool, the gym, the entertainment. His only drawback, Preston's food selection is very limited.

The Promenade on the interstellar space ship in PassengersPreston's only form of company is Arthur(Michael Sheen), the concourse android bartender. Arthur is an emigma. Preston thinks he has found another live human only to learn Arthur is an android. Try asking an android why it is here or why it is functioning when all of the passengers are asleep. You won't get an answer you like.

Arthur serves Preston cocktails and holds his own in a conversation. Arthur even offers advice, bartender style. This suffices for a time but Preston is pining for company. Preston is a mechanic but since he is only a low-grade passenger, there are some areas of the ship where he has no access. He tries desperately to break into the command center with no success. He cannot gain access to the command hibernation area either. Preston is essentially marooned in Paradise.

Chris Pratt in PassengersAfter more than a year alone, what would anyone do in this situation? Preston has had enough. He has reached the breaking point. He is going to enter the air lock and then open the outer door and float away into interstellar oblivion. At the last second, everything goes wrong. In a panic, he flees the air lock. Wanting to break anything he can find, he slips and falls. In the blink of an eye, everything goes right.

Preston gets to his feet beside the hibernation capsule of Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). Preston learns everything he can about Aurora. The more he learns, the more he falls in love with her. Now what would anyone do?

Preston's decision does not come as a surprise. Actor Jennifer Lawrence wouldn't have much of a part if he didn't awaken Aurora. Preston lies to her telling her she had a similar accident as his. She woke up early. Once the shock wears off, the two become friends and then lovers.

Since the opening sequence, Passengers back story is a ticking time bomb. Everyone is on borrowed time but no one knows it. The ship malfunction that brought Preston out of hibernation is slowly shutting down other systems. Preston and Aurora notice the lights flickering but don't worry much as the systems return to normal.

Laurence Fishburne as Gus Mancuso in PassengersThen, the dream ends. Aurora learns the truth. She is furious to say the least. Unfortunately, she can't stay mad forever. Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) awakens from his capsule. Mancuso has a bit more access to the ship but still not enough to awaken the Captain or the Chief Engineer. The race is on!

This isn't just a race to save their lives but to save the lives of every person on the ship. The three passengers know their lives have become expendable. If they fail, everyone dies. If they die but save the ship, well... OK.

The first half of Passengers is Chris Pratt and nothing but Chris Pratt. The set design is spectacular. The views of outer space even more spectacular. None of this would matter without Pratt's performance. Preston puts on a brave face even though the outlook for his life is rather dim.

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in PassengersHighlighting the first half of the film is the growing relationship between Preston and Arthur. Arthur may be just a robot, but his programming is remarkable. Arthur is programmed to be the absolute perfect bartender. He is part friendly stranger, confidante and psychologist. Arthur is surprisingly wise. The advice Arthur gives Preston is sound. These two characters keep the film firmly grounded.

And baby makes three! Preston is losing his mind. Arthur is locked in place in the bar. Arthur's advice helps Preston cope. Sooner or later, everyone reaches a breaking point.

When Aurora awakens, the film changes its scope and tone. Preston is living a lie but there is no one around who will tell his secret. He woke up Aurora and made it look like an accident. Aurora believes him because there is no reason to mistrust him.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Aurora Lane in PassengersThe more Preston and Aurora reveal about themselves, the more their lives are similar. Preston is a mechanic. He loves building things. He left Earth behind because nothing is built by hand. Outer space is a new frontier where Preston can build whatever he wants.

Aurora is on this trip for a strangely similar but almost completely opposite of Preston. She is a writer who has hit writer's block. She has come upon the ultimate solution. She will spend time in suspended animation, travel in space for awhile, return to Earth and then write about her experiences. Hers will be an epic tale.

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in PassengersReality can be an Earth-shattering thing. Preston and Aurora's lives are irreversibly changed. Their dreams are gone. They will never see their destination. Preston will never build his dream house. No one on Earth will ever read Aurora's story. Their stories are over. Unless, they start a new story.

Arthur is at the forefront of their new story. He keeps them together. He listens to their problems. In a seeming impossibility, Arthur is sympathetic to both Preston and Aurora. Their lives may be over or their lives may, only now, truly begin. Life is a terrible thing to happen to a person. Life is what happens while you are busy making plans. Sometimes, you just need to see what is directly in front of you.

Passengers is an amazing story. Without the amazing, touching, tender and bittersweet performances of Pratt, Lawrence and Sheen, Passengers would never get off the ground. Humanity is in good hands. We shall over come.