If you’ve seen the trailer below for sci-fi romance adventure Passengers and thought you already know how it goes, the reality is that there’s more to things than meets the eye. There’s a lot more depth and interest to this story of the stars and it packs a lot more punch than you might have thought as it builds to the stunning special effects-fuelled culmination to the story.
We’re not going to give away any of the surprises in our review, but it’s a film that doesn’t take too much time to deliver its “oh, ****” moment. The situation is much more stark and brutal for the passengers onboard the starship Avalon than the trailer gave away, which leaves a film that kept its cards close to its chest and played a solid hand when it was time to deal (not too sure where the poker references have come from, but… you get the picture!).
Both Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men Apocalypse) and Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2) do a remarkable job of holding your attention considering the fact that they’re pretty much the only people in the film. It was a lot of responsibility for them to be on camera for so long alone, but they carry it off well with good on-screen dynamics and some impressive acting skills here and there.
They’re supported a little by the occasional presence of Michael Sheen (Far From The Madding Crowd) as the Avalon’s robotic bartender, Arthur. He acts as the fulcrum between the two, bringing a little brevity and helping to move the plot along with his automated advice and programmed good intentions. The only other cast members to feature is Lawrence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 2) who makes a fleeting appearance as things start to get hairy later on on the film. He’s as solid as ever, down-playing the character well with a business-like quality and quiet surety.
If you were being harsh, you could easily point out the cheesy elements of the film, but in all fairness they do a lot to help you engage with the characters and the situation that they find themselves in. Equally there is a small sliver of forced plot development as everything comes together to create the perfect storm for the pair. But again this is integral to delivering the film overall and it doesn’t take too much away from what is a very entertaining sci-fi romance, which you don’t really get too many of.
While there are plenty of good reviews for Passengers, there are also a number of negative tallies from review aggregator sites. For us this just highlights the difference between the average film fan and the more serious film critic wannabes out there out there. That’s not necessarily meant as a criticism but more a difference between serious film buffs and the general public. Their review may well be valid in parts but they’re a little on the harsh side, and shouldn’t really put you off catching this DVD release.
One of the most impressive parts of the film is the special effects, which keep you transfixed throughout Passengers. It’s literally wall-to-wall sci-fi eye-candy every which way you look and with the addition of incredible set designs, it makes for one stunning film to watch.
It’s added to by well-crafted cinematography from director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto, whose previous work includes The Wolf of Wall Street and Argo, which are great films in themselves. He’s got a good eye for looking at things differently and that translates well in the shot construction he’s brought to Passengers.
Overall, director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) has done a very good job in crafting such an interesting sci-fi adventure in Passengers. He’s been helped along the way by writer Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange, Prometheus, and The Mummy (2017)) who has delivered a fascinating story.
This is a DVD that’s well worth adding to the collection if for nothing else but the incredible sci-fi visuals which should see you coming back to it again in the future. It may not please the serious film buff or the more cynical critics, but it’s a good watch if you’re a sci-fi fan looking for a little adventure.
Passengers DVD review 3.8/5