Review: Passengers

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Source: Slate

Modern sci-fi (especially in space) typically has an epic, grandiose feel to it, something that ‘Passengers’ justifiably captures at points with its crisis-ridden spaceship zooming through the universe. But the imposing, distressing situation in which the characters find themselves is not reflected in the film’s tone or direction. Instead it settles for light comedic relief, predictable and clichéd circumstances, illogical resolutions and on the nose exposition and symbolism (“Aurora”, I mean come on, that name is blatant and forced and if you don’t know why, look up what it means and the Disney princess who shares the name). While one may argue that the characters simply learn to make the best of the scenario, too much has already been set up thematically to simply ignore. The film touches on elements of corporatism, class, and the reliance upon, and advancement of, technology, but swerves away in favour of generic, anti-climatic progression. Luckily, the acting is fine, and the film does spotlight the tremendous score and production design, but otherwise it is disengaging on nearly every other level. The creepy male gaze that the film resorts to (and tries to make comment upon) never goes far enough, failing to fully criticise its characters and unfortunately often glamorising these actions . Ultimately, ‘Passengers’ is not a total wreck, with some great individual moments, but it most certainly fails both as a love story and as an exploration of technology and mechanics. 2/5

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