Passengers Movie Poster:
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Written by: Jon Spaihts
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance
Release date: December 21, 2016
My Rating: 7/10
Verdict: Scifi geeks who like romance, this is for you
This review is going to be a little different because:
1. I will spoil the ending of the movie - near end of article (with a huge warning, don't worry I won't spring it on you).
2. I will talk about a semi-controversial scene concerning the pool and gravity
3. I will show a alternate (fake) ending and compare it to original ending, and why I personally liked the original more.
In this section, I will give a rundown of the story and characters. This is mostly for the people who haven't seen the film.
So the movie starts with a spaceship (almost said starfleet - I need a break from Star Trek....sheesh) getting a bumpy ride thanks to an asteroid belt, getting damaged a little, and waking Jim - a mechanical engineer (keep in mind his job/skill, because I have a theory on this).
Jim wakes up and goes through the process of "getting ready to leave ship because they've reached their destination" (at least that's what the programmed videos keep telling him until he discovers that he's only 30 years into the trip and there's another 90 years left. This is a slap in the face because Jim looks like he's in his mid 30s-40s and there's just no way he would live that long (I doubt their science has advanced that much - in terms of longevity of life - if they need hibernation pods for the trip).
Now let's fast forward one year and Jim is living the tv show "Last Man on Earth" in space. He is one very depressed, unshaven, unhealthy (mentally and physically) man who has lost the purpose of living. And this is where philosophy takes a forefront. Humans are not lonely creatures, he's been holding out from waking anyone else for a year, and he's giving up on his life. If you were in his place, what would YOU do?
Enter Aurora, through some complications, her pod is opened (I am not spoiling this), and she basically goes through the same process he went through of "oh my god, I am going to die on this ship."
Actually, they both go through the 6 stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Shock: "Oh God" *speechless face*
Denial: "No! No, I refuse to believe this!" *blind to the fact that they woke too early*
Anger: "Fuck you! Fuck God! Fuck this ship!" *punches some stuff*
Bargaining: *tries to crawl back into pod, in hopes that s/he will go back to hibernation* or other similar acts of regaining what they lost
Depression: *emotionless zombie* or *suicide*
Acceptance: "Well, if I'm going to die on this ship, might as well make the best of it."
The only difference here is, Aurora is luckier. She's not alone. From here on out (after the 6 stages of grief), they try to enjoy each others company while the ship slowly gets messed up. A whole lot of other things happen, but they're spoilers, and you can either read the spoiler section in the bottom or watch the movie.
Okay, now onto some fun theories or alternate plot changes:
1. Jim did not wake from a malfunction: This is personally my favorite theory because of the "ship never had pod open by accident" seem more plausible. Why? Well, let's take this scenario:
Ship malfunctions, wakes Jim on purpose - because he's a mechanical engineer with possible experience of fixing ships like these - and their hope is to have him fix the ship. He's a sacrificial lamb of sorts. Wake the poor guy to fix this issue, and let him live the rest of his life on board the ship. Of course this brings up some issues, like:
a) why would the program tell him they arrived on the new planet? Why not have a different program run to tell him "hey, you were selected based on your skill to save this ship and its passengers. Fix it or everyone dies. Also, sorry, you're going to die on this ship.
b) The program doesn't run (let's call it the "selection" program), so Jim goes through the normal video program, until he himself finds out that they haven't reached their destination yet. In this case, we can call the selection program faulty- maybe the asteroid belt messed up some of the programs. Which means, he was woken to fix the ship, but the poor guy doesn't know it. So he goes through this depressing "I'm alone fml" stage until it causes some other mishaps on the ship. Which is how the story goes. He fixes the ship either way, so whatever right?
c) BUT: plot hole: Why doesn't the ship have backup pods????? This is one of the biggest questions asked and there is a good reason why. Jim says that the ship has a bunch of other spare parts for just about anything..so it begs the question of why it doesn't have backup pods. We look at NASA for guidance. We look at all the necessary precautions they take; all the extra parts they put in the rocket, just in case. So, if we "feeble, less intelligent and technologically advanced beings" can be that smart, why hasn't the company created backup of pods??? Even if they never failed, why do they not have some, because science is not in absolutes? There is always a chance, so why haven't they??? Are they that egotistical, has "smart" tech made humans extra dumb? And I have to admit, that that alone made me want to dock extra points from the rating. Because I refuse to believe that the company that creates these ships would be that careless. It would be beyond stupid. Maybe I have a high expectation of humanity...but I just don't see us doing that in the future. I feel like the writer knew this plot hole, but to make the movie end the way it did (because romance), they had to install that stupid plot hole (although there could have been another solution: like: " ohhh no, I'm awake." *depression* then *fixes ship*. "Oh yay, there are extra pods somewhere since this ship has so many backup of all other useless shit.").
2. Jim does wake by accident, and good thing he's a techie too, cause the ship needs some fixing. It's too bad he's too busy mourning the loss of his life on a new planet to realize the ship needs some help. Enter Aurora, which makes him feel better about his sorry ass life; they fix the ship then Aurora finds out some unsettling things about something (too spoilery). She hates him so much and refuses to forgive him, which motivates him to find a way to put her back to sleep (let's disregard the little plot twist near end of film for this scenario for the people who did see the film). Jim, after many months or years of search, finally finds a Pod that works, or hell....after those years, he finally figures out how to fix their pods and back to sleep they go. And this could still end romantically:
a) he finds backup pods and puts her back to sleep after many years. She finally forgives him for this gesture and maybe on the new planet they might reconcile.
b) he fixes the messed up pods and puts her back to sleep, then himself. Same ending as A.
But alas, none of these theories come true. They are not explored further. They are, essentially, ignored. Maybe the writer/director thought us viewers would be too dumb to ask these questions? Or maybe they were too dumb to ask these questions. I don't know.
But hey, even with all these issues, I still liked the movie. I love any movie that has a controversial theme. This one's theme isn't about "ship in space" or "I love you" or whatever. Its core theme is about loneliness and what humans would do in such situations. I thought it was explored very well. Both with Jim and Aurora. I really liked how violent she got when she found out a certain thing about her situation. Romance very quickly went out the window. Some people hated her forgiving attitude near the end..but honestly, that shows something about humanity too: we forgive to give ourselves a relief of mind. Think of family members who forgive someone who killed their child. It's not because they're so nice, it's mostly because they just can't deal with the hate and anxiety and depression. It takes a mental toll on them. So they forgive so they can move on. To live. I thought this was the biggest reason why Aurora was forgiving. Sure she had a second option - near end of the film - but another factor played a role in her decision making:
1) "You don't know what you have until you lost it" and
2) by the time the second option came along, she'd already made up her mind. Some people are like this: once we make a decision, we stick to it, regardless of what new revelations come along later. This is actually very like Aurora's character too (as she left her close friends and family to see a new world, maybe find herself or live a great adventure to write about). She was very resolute in nature. I could see her, in reality, making that decision regardless of how angry she was about her situation.
This might make some people upset, but we have to keep in mind that humans are very unique. We can agree in some things, and completely disagree in others. Our behaviors and decisions vary. So how can we not see it plausible that Aurora could, in actuality, make such decisions?
Have we become so simple minded that we can't see people being different from us? Or maybe even irrational? I see it all the time, in - I dare say - dumber things, so why is it so hard to believe that Aurora could be a real human, living among us, right now?
I can't say I agreed with it, but I CAN understand why she did it.
That's all I have on this topic. Read on for some fun movie clip analysis below and, if you're feeling risky enough, read the end of the article for some revelations about the movie and a controversial analysis about the movies theme. Aside from that, if you're into space travel movies, this is one to add onto your list.
Movie review with Jennifer Lawrence: The Hunger Games
Movie review with Chris Pratt: Jurassic World
Gravity Loss in pool: Epic!
Thoughts on scene:
This scene was epic. I've watched it multiple times and it still takes my breath away (no pun intended).
Okay, when you go to the comments section of this video, you're going to get a lot of physics geeks saying "in reality she would have died cuz" this or that...but I'm no expert in this field...so I can pretend I know nothing and just ENJOY the scene for what it is. It was amazing. Beautifully done.
And the thing is, most scifi films rarely base things to reality. We have Gravity, The Martian, and a bunch of other scifi films..and none of them have gotten it all correct on how things work out there...so hey, since none of them are accurate, just enjoy the dramatic scenes for what they are: dramatic and thrilling!
If you want realism, go to documentaries. I love documentaries too, so I'm not bashing. I don't like it when films mess up on realism. I find myself in those situations too, and can generally suspend enough belief to move past it and enjoy the movie (although there are some movies that literally disobey their own rules in the movie, which is a total turn off and not cool). So all I gotta say is, thank you for telling me how it really works in reality, but don't be sour about it and just sit back and enjoy the scene.
Some movie clips:
- Passengers - Watch the First 10 Minutes Now! - YouTube
A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers a...
- Passengers Movie CLIP - I Woke Up Too Soon (2016) - Chris Pratt Movie - YouTube
Starring: Chris Pratt Passengers Movie CLIP - I Woke Up Too Soon (2016) - Chris Pratt Movie A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transportin...
Alternate (Depressing) Ending!
Alternate Fan Made Ending:
So when I first saw this, months after I saw the fim, I thought this was a real alternate ending! HAHA. Jokes on me.
But it was still interesting to see how it could have ended. Some loved this more than the original, some hated this more than the original, some...like me, thought they both had their intentions, though in terms of superiority, this one seemed redundant. I can't say why, but I'll say this: when a movie ends just like it begins with the first main character, you are left with this feeling of being stuck in a never-ending loop, with none of the characters learning anything except that they're human and they will do shitty things to others to feel better.
But I must say, this does leave one thinking about human nature. BUT again, I have to say it's redundant. For about half the movie, you are in that mindset- what would you do- and then this ending repeats itself. At this point, it's no longer a ponder, because we've been through the process and seen what happens. That's all I can say to explain why I liked the original ending more.
I am NOT kidding!
Okay, this is a movie ending spoiler. Only because I had to discuss the ending in relation to the alternate ending, and why I felt the original was more superior.
So you're either reading this section because you don't care about the spoilers, or you've seen the film already.
So the movie ends with Jim almost dying, but he gets revived. Some other thing happens (which I won't spoil, because it's another minor twist), but bottom line: they decide to stay together and live their life to the fullest on the ship.
It sounds so cheesy right? But it really goes along with the theme of the story: being alone suckssssss.
Because it does.
Humans are not lonely creatures. Even the most introverted freaks (cough I'm one of them cough) like to be around others occasionally or sometimes.
So the first half of the movie, we follow Jim going crazy (literally, mentally going crazy- watch the movie to see how exactly. I'm trying to spoil as little - at least the journey of the movie - as possible). He finally cures himself by finding a partner. I honestly don't think he did it because he loved her. Sure, she was beautiful, but that was hardly the only reason why. He found this beautiful girl, watched her videos while he was bored, felt like he knew her (much like we all think we know someone through emails, videos, and texts) and finally succumbed and woke her. I'm fairly certain that if he was desperate, it wouldn't have mattered who he woke, so long as he was not alone anymore. Beauty is just bonus for Jim (or anyone, really).
(note: the reason I mention this is because people kept thinking he just woke her because she was pretty. That's what I call "shortsightedness").
But anyways, after spending so much time on the effects of loneliness, I thought the audience had had enough an understood the repercussions...so why end on the same note it begin? (like the alternate ending). As I said, it seemed redundant and lacked the effect because it was all thrown on the first part with Jim.
The reason why I liked the original ending was because of it's implications. We end on this beautiful note of trees and animals and leaves one wondering what the actual F happened there. Honestly...I was soooo tempted to write a fanfiction..that I think I'll attempt one right here:
I was getting old, almost fifty-five. My parent's were no longer with me. Aurora and Jim died a few months apart from each other. My mother birthed me in her mid thirties. And they were with me most of my life. I watched them grow old, slowly. And the older they got, the more fear I saw in their eyes.
I knew that the fear was for me, not them. Their old age reminded them of their imminent death. And their death meant my loneliness. And they both understood that better than anyone, though I think my father understood it best.
I remember my mother and father fighting some nights, when they thought I couldn't hear. When I was younger.
"What if we die? We can't let her live alone! I won't allow it!"
"I can't bring another child into this life. I just...can't."
"Find another way, Jim."
I chuckled at the memory. I chuckled, because they did find another way. They not only found a way to be with me most of my life, but they found not just one, but many companions. I smiled as I looked around, my eyes crinkling. I breathed in deep, and released a slow breath, inhaling the fresh air and the dewiness of the greens I was surrounded by.
Somehow, my father found a way to incorporate trees and grass and flowers to grow on this ship. He found embryos from the botanical room and cloned animals from it. I heard the chirp of the birds and the bark of my dogs and the all the other animals that had become my friends.
I put my hands on my waist and admired everything with pride. There was a story to tell here. And it would go in history books. And my mother would be as famous as she'd hoped to be. I'd make sure of that. Through my parent's story, the company that neglected to prevent what happened to my parent's would make sure to never let this happen again.
I had a story to tell. I'd told it to all my friends. But now it was time for everyone else to hear.
"Okay everyone, we best get ready for the passengers to wake up."
That's basically why I liked this ending more. Because there would be someone to tell a story with the way this movie ended. It sorta reminded me of Mr. Nobody (a really fascinating movie). The movie had this old guy tell the story of his parent's from a young age to his middle ages...and the way the story went was so capturing. I immediately envisioned this old lady telling this fascinating love story in space about her parents, and how she fit into that story.
Somehow, this cheesy story, because of the old lady, felt less cheesy. LOL