Passengers Rewatch Review

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I assume you have already seen Passengers. Spoilers ahead.

Rewatching Passengers tonight I noticed a flaw in the plot. It was pointed out that the hibernation pods could keep them asleep, and wake them up when they arrived at Homestead II, but they didn’t have the equipment to put someone into hibernation. However, Aurora also mentioned she booked a round trip ticket. She was flying out to Homestead, staying a year, and then returning, presumably on the same ship she was on now — but that wasn’t made clear. One way or another they would need to have the equipment to put people back into hibernation, because the crew would be returning to Earth at some point.


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Is it possible that Homestead is an established colony already and they have the equipment there to put people into hibernation? Perhaps. But that’s a tiny little thing that should have been mentioned in the story to close that loophole.

Aside from that very minor plot loophole, this movie in near perfection. The exploration of loneliness that Jim experiences flows right into his dilemma of waking Aurora, and then their developing relationship. Every step of the movie is well paced. The story keeps moving along without bogging down.

Credit has to be given to screenwriter Jon Spaihts for his outstanding work. Spaihts also wrote Prometheus, Dr. Strange, and the upcoming DUNE remake, which gives me more and more confidence that this time they’re finally going to get DUNE right. (DUNE is my all-time favorite science fiction novel.)

The performances Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt give are outstanding. Everyone knows Jennifer is one of the most talented actresses around these days, but Chris is the one who has the more demanding role. There’s a 30 minute span of the movie where he is the only character in any scene — with the exception of Arthur, the android barkeeper. Chris really has to sell his character through expressions alone, something only a very talented actor can accomplish.

Aside: Remember that Sleeping Beauty’s first name is also Aurora. (My wife pointed that out to me.)

My top 5 favorite science fiction movies of the 2010s

  1. Arrival – without question, this was my favorite science fiction movie of the 2010s.
  2. Passengers – great science fiction is about exploring hypothetical human experiences. It doesn’t get better than this. (Read Jill’s review: A+)
  3. Ex Machina – wow, wow, wow, wow. Brilliant on many levels. Also, a great soundtrack.
  4. Edge of Tomorrow – was there a better action science fiction movie of the decade? I think not.
  5. The Martian – a charming movie, infinitely rewatchable.

Honorable Mention: Interstellar – I wasn’t a fan of this movie after the first watching; in my original review I gave it a C+, but since then it’s grown on me. This movie makes the Top 5 of the 2010s just based on how accurately they portrayed black holes and General Relativity.

I love Star Trek and Star Wars. It’s a shame none of the movies in either franchise comes close to making my Top 5 list. In my book, none of them would make the Top 10. So much potential for those movies squandered. They all had magnificent effects and action, but the scripts stank like an eviscerated Tauntaun.

Movie Review – Passengers

Movie review: Prometheus

Movie Review – Doctor Strange

 

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5 thoughts on “Passengers Rewatch Review”

  1. Great insights.

    I always assumed at Homestead II they would access the data to build the necessary device to put people in hypersleep for the return trip. Surely they’re carrying all the data ever created on Earth. If they want to run regular trips between worlds, they will need to crew it back, get a new set of passengers, and keep it going.

    So even it it takes a year to set this up, perhaps from mined/refined materials on the new planet, Aurora will have her story, then go home.

    At the very least, the crew, plus ONE person in the sickbay pod can go back.

    I’d need to rewatch this again, but that’s my thought.

    Good catch in any case…the viewer shouldn’t have to come up with elaborate theories.

  2. You’re right. One way or another the colony should have the technology and equipment to put people into hypersleep. But it would have been an easy fix to add to the dialog.

  3. Rob Williams Author

    I’ll admit that the first time I watched “Passengers” it was under less than ideal circumstances. I was working at the time and had one hour lunch breaks and to pass the time I used to load a film or a TV programme onto my laptop. As I’d watched it over a couple of lunch breaks while I was eating my sandwiches and drinking a mug of tea a la Captain Picard (Earl Grey, hot, no milk or sugar) so I thought I’d better rewatch it as well If I wanted to make any meaningful comments in response to Dan’s re-review. I guess I’d also better repeat the spoiler warning in case anybody hasn’t seen it yet.

    And I’m so glad I did. It’s a good story that’s well told by people I like watching. Chris Pratt seems to be not only ubiquitous but also capable of turning his hand to anything; not just the comedy actor I thought he was when I first became aware of him. Jennifer Lawrence seems somehow ageless; one minute she’s a teenager in The Hunger Games series and the next she’s a ruthless assassin in Red Sparrow. Laurence Fishburne always makes me wonder why he isn’t in more stuff as he’s brilliant! The only thing I can think is that casting directors must go through their Filofaxes from Z to A and just stop when they get to Samuel L Jackson. And then there’s Michael Sheen (there are other people in the film but they are little more than cameos) who I think is just magnificent; I’d pay money to watch him peeling potatoes.

    Now I have a horrible feeling I’ve done this before but I have to take issue with Dan and his plot hole. It made me think of those old episodes of Mythbusters where they took something and tried to prove if it had happened or not. On some of the occasions when they had said something couldn’t be done I thought “is it a case of it can’t be done or is it just that you can’t so it?” And that is where I came to with regard to the plot flaw… Is it a case of people can’t be put into hibernation on the ship or just that they don’t know how to or have the authority to do it. They just might not know which buttons to press and what order to press them. After all, Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) seems like a career crew member and my guess is that the ship itself goes back and forth – full out, empty back – and there may be occasions when there needs to be an in-flight revival and subsequent hibernation.

    So that didn’t bother me at all. What I did think was a mistake was the scene of the ship going through an asteroid field and the collisions that led to the problems. I think they had way too many lumps of rock close together. As Douglas Adams said… “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space” and all that room means there are plenty of gaps between lumps so hitting that many of them in such a small area is a bit unlikely. I think it would have been more believable if they’d been tootling along and just ran into the big one. But what do I know!

  4. Hey Rob. Great observations as usual. You’re absolutely right about the asteroid field. It really doesn’t work that way. The only explanation for asteroids being that bunched up is if two large asteroids collide and leave a debris field. But in that event the debris would only be bunched up for a very brief time before dispersing. So there’s that. But I’m willing to overlook it since it’s crucial to the plot and let’s face it, everyone gets this wrong in the movies.

    They characters actually talked about my plot hole in the movie. Aurora was trying to come up with solutions to going back to sleep and Jim told her: remember back on earth, they put us to sleep in one facility and then put us on the ship. These pods keep us asleep and wake us up, but they don’t put us to sleep. So somewhere on Homestead II there has to be some means of putting people back into hibernation.

    Come to think of it, Aurora is “special” because she’ll be the first “writer” to go out to the stars and come back. But the crews of all these ships do this, possibly many times. They don’t really discus that, but again, that’s not the point of the movie. I do think that could make another interesting story of a crew that does trips like this and together they spend thousands of years in hypersleep while traveling the stars. Lot’s of potential there.

  5. Something has been nagging me about the character name “Gus Mancuso”, played by Laurence Fishburne. That name just sounded oddly familiar. Turns out that the captain of the submarine Dallas in Hunt For Red October is Bart Mancuso, played by Scott Glenn.

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