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Friday
Dec232016

Passengers (2016)

With Passengers, director Morten Tyldum plays another kind of imitation game by cribbing elements from more space-disaster movies than I care to recount. If you've seen the previews, you know that Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence play interstellar travellers who awaken from stasis nearly a century too early. In addition to the inevitable perilous space walk (necessary, of course, to prevent the requisite nuclear reactor from blowing up their cosmic luxury liner), Star-Lord and JLaw must face the prospect of dying in the middle of nowhere, with only an android bartender (a spot-on, Shining-creepy Michael Sheen), and a complete stranger to keep them company. Then there's the Big Secret, which the trailers, miraculously, don't spoil. Screenwriter John Spaihts' grim doozie of a plot twist makes Passengers worth seeing, beyond its glorious production design. Too bad the film's complex moral quandaries get sidetracked and sucked into a black hole of genre tropes.

 Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #179 to hear a positively preposterous Passengers pile-on!

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