Passengers – The spaceship ‘Avalon’ is transporting people in hibernation pods to a new planet ‘Homestead II’, a journey that will take 120 years. 30 years in, one of the hibernation pods malfunctions and Jim Preston is woken, discovering no hope of returning to his slumber. As the days, months and years pass, his depression and loneliness reach unbearable levels. When the beautiful Aurora also awakens, the pair form an immediate connection but with the ship beginning to malfunction and fail across all systems, can they figure out how to fix it and save not just themselves but also the thousands of souls also aboard?

Passengers (2016) – Director: Morten Tyldum

Is Passengers appropriate for kids?

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51532584

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 116 mins

Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen

Genre: Science Fiction

REVIEW

‘Passengers’ is first and foremost science fiction; it is set in the future, on a spaceship, on a journey thirty years into space to a new Earth-like planet and all souls on board are travelling in a deep-sleep in hibernation pods. However, once Jim Preston wakes up, it suddenly becomes a very real human story of desperation, despair, crushing loneliness and depression. Known for his charisma and charm, Chris Pratt easily carries the movie by himself for a good third of the film, conveying his personality, insecurities and finally his moral dilemma brought on by the almost maddening isolation he has endured for so many months. Once Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) wakes up, Jim is given a reason to live and their mutual situation brings them together in more ways than one.

Special mention must be given to the always likeable Michael Sheen who plays the Android bartender, Arthur, a character who has no business rivalling the charm of the two human leads but somehow steals the show. His help in alleviating some of Jim and Aurora’s loneliness makes him one of the team and therefore someone the audience can root for along the way. The intensity of Jim and Aurora’s relationship (both positive and negative) is somewhat inevitable but both Pratt and Lawrence play their roles with passion and come across as believable, even within their far-fetched situation. The story itself is rather familiar and predictable but there are enough twists and turns along the way to keep people hooked but whether all audience members will be interested in a minimalist, high-brow sci-fi film is another matter entirely.

Its slow pace, simplicity and inescapable genre could instantly put a lot of people off and it may be too dull for many. Indeed, even though who enjoy the slow burn approach may find the tonal shift for the last Act and ending a little jarring, but overall, ‘Passengers’ is entertaining, has thoroughly likeable and believable characters and has a good, dramatic story to get lost in

IS ‘PASSENGERS’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The character of Arthur is a friendly barman, his top half appears very human although his face is a little ‘off’, a bit too perfect and lacking in humanity behind the eyes, this is often called ‘uncanny valley’ and could be a bit disturbing for children, especially as his head sometimes twitches in an unnatural way.

Jim’s loneliness reaches extreme levels, he is so desperate for human companionship that his despair leads him to contemplate suicide. He almost opens an air lock when not wearing a spacesuit which would mean certain death but changes his mind at the last-minute. Much of this is implied and is likely to go over the heads of kids but they may be confused by his behaviour so some reassurance and an explanation may be required here.

When Aurora wakes up, Jim is forced to lie to her about what has happened and the relationship that begins to blossom between them is based on deceit. Jim feels guilty about the lie but continues with it regardless. Their relationship quickly becomes extremely physically intimate, they are seen removing each others clothes, lying in bed and at one point, their passions overcome them at a dining table. While there is little graphic content in terms of nudity or sex, nothing is merely implied and parents may be uncomfortable with the intensity of their intimacy.

When a character is trying to fix some machinery, a large nail comes loose, shoots through the air and is embedded into their arm, they cry out in pain and gingerly pull the nail out; this is seen fully in shot with some blood

VERDICT – IS ‘PASSENGERS’ FOR KIDS?

‘Passengers’ is an interesting story told well but has a slow pace, an adult relationship, and plenty of moments that will probably be confusing for kids and therefore, young kids especially, are unlikely to find it anything other than long and boring. Due to this and Jim and Aurora’s very adult relationship we recommend this movie for over 12’s.

  • Violence:  1/5 (Aurora justifiably becomes emotionally volatile and at one point stands over Jim as he sleeps, when he wakes up she launches a vicious attack on him, stopping just short of causing serious injury)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (a character makes the decides to sacrifice their life for the greater good. They are resigned to their fate but another character becomes distraught by the decision)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 5/5 (while the sex scenes aren’t exactly gratuitous, there is a lot of passionate physical intimacy for around 20 minutes of the movie. There is some nudity, Jim is seen in the shower and he often walks around the ship naked, he is never seen fully nude from the front but his behind is shown)
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (some mild blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 0/5 (As ‘Passengers’ is aimed at an adult audience, the dialogue doesn’t ‘speak’ to children and therefore they may struggle to follow what is happening)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of loneliness, despair, the burgeoning need for human companionship, love, hatred, deceit, suicidal thoughts and condemning someone to an unwilling fate.

Passengers [DVD] [2017]


New From: £3.73 GBP In Stock

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