Review: Passengers (12A)

EARLY WAKENING: Chris Pratt as Jim Preston and Jennifer Lawrence as Aurora Dunn. PICTURE: PA Photo/Sony. WARNING:
EARLY WAKENING: Chris Pratt as Jim Preston and Jennifer Lawrence as Aurora Dunn. PICTURE: PA Photo/Sony. WARNING:
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Mankind searches for new planets to inhabit and the Starship Avalon launches, loaded with 258 crew and 5,000 passengers in deep sleep, bound for the distant colony of Homestead II.

The journey from Earth will take 120 years, predominantly on autopilot, but a meteor shower causes a malfunction to the ship’s central computer. Hibernation pods malfunction and mechanical engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and journalist Aurora Dunn (Jennifer Lawrence) wake prematurely.

They discover they cannot reset the pods’ sleep command and must spend the rest of their lives with the ship’s robot bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen) while friends and loved ones slumber peacefully and defy the ravages of time for the next 90 years.

As they come to terms with their predicament, romance sparks between Jim and Aurora. When crew chief Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) is also roused early by a software glitch, a shocking secret is exposed that undermines the couple’s relationship.

“The drowning man will always drag somebody down with him,” notes Mancuso cryptically, before a series of failures in the computer mainframe threatens the safety of everyone on board Avalon.

Passengers is a missed opportunity that relies on the white-hot star wattage of Lawrence and Pratt to keep us engaged.

On general release

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