Passengers (2016) a Sci-fi romance about two people that wake up decades too early on a sleeper ship on its way to a colony and can’t go back to sleep, is such a god-awful movie that I can’t give it anything higher than a 2/10 rating. It only gets that much because the special effects people and Chris Prat did well enough to make the movie bearable. However, the writing for this movie was just simply too irredeemably horrendous that it was not deserving of a higher rating.
Avalon, a sleeper ship carrying 5258 passengers on a 120-year journey to the planet “Homestead 2”, experiences critical computer failure which causes Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) to awaken 90-years to early. This is the first of many plot holes, why does only his pod malfunction? But more importantly why in God’s name would the computer not be programmed to wake the crew or at least part of it, in the event of a critical failure? Let alone a Hull breach as we later learn.
Carrying on, after learning he woke up too early, Jim panics and sends a message back to earth in an attempt to get help where then learns that the “Laser Transmission” which he is told will take 19-years (meaning the transmission is traveling at the speed of light.) and that he has no way of returning into stasis. After spending an entire year absolutely alone, he gets so depressed that he makes the immoral decision to wake another passenger, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence),whom he had become infatuated with.
After Aurora wakes up and goes through all the steps of denial that Jim went through, she finally begins to except we fate and gets closer to Jim, here we learn that Jim was going to the Colony as a desirable trade, meaning he couldn’t afford the ticket so he will pay the company a portion of his salary for the rest of his life, and that Aurora, was just there for the experience and was intending to travel back to earth with the crew. This brings us to the two biggest plot holes in the story, first, many of the colonists couldn’t afford the passenger tickets to Homestead 2, but like Jim, possessed desirable trades and would be paying the company part of their salary for the rest for their lives. This raises the question of how, how would they being paying them. Homestead 2 is isolated in every sense of the word; how can the company collect on the debts? It takes the Avalon 120-years, traveling at half the speed of light to reach Homestead 2, meaning that commerce between the colony and earth is not feasible, which would make Homestead 2 have an isolated economy. Also, since a laser transmission traveling at the speed of light would take at least 60-years just to reach its destination, having active bank accounts back on earth would not be possible, which would make having a synchronized currency impossible. So how are they supposed to collect the debts? Second, the biggest plot hole in the story is that Jim and Aroura have no way of going back into stasis. How can they not have a means of being put back into stasis? How is the ship’s crew let alone Aroura, supposed to make the 120-year return trip back to earth if they can’t be returned into stasis? There must be a way, period.
Skipping past Jim and Aroura’s love story and Aroura eventually finding out Jim woke her up and now hates his guts, as the story progresses, the ships problems become more and more prevalent, when the ship’s systems and facilities continuously begin failing at an ever increasing rate. This eventually causes Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne) one of the ships engineers, to wake up in a manner similar to Jim. (Again why did only his pod malfunction?) However, unlike Jim, his faulty wake up somehow caused him to contract thousands of disorders and illnesses which causes him to die.
With Crew access band in hand and time running out, the two must now hurry and fix the ship before it’s too late. This leads to them discovering that a meteor pierced the ship and put a hole in the ships computer core, which for some reason is placed next to the ship’s reactor, which is about to go super nova. In an attempt to redeem himself and save everyone, Jim decided to sacrifice himself by going outside (I don’t know how that’s possible when traveling at half the speed of light, theory of relativity and all...) and manually open the vent that is preventing them from spacing the core, only for Aurora to realize she can’t live without him and saves him by dragging him to the medical pod/ Auto Doc, and uses the engineers band to override a program that prevents a procedure being done without a doctor present. This brings up two more plot holes, like with the computer not waking up crew in the event of system critical emergency, why doesn’t the ship wake up a doctor in a clear and present medical emergency? And why would an engineer have the clearance to override a program that prevents a medical procedure from being done without a doctor present?
Finally, at the end of the story, Jim, discovers, that the Auto Doc, has an option to put a patient into stasis but this can be only be done for one person, and offers it to Aroura, but she refuses and they live the rest of their lives on the ship. This brings up the last plot hole. On a ship that is carrying over 5,000 passengers and crew, why would there only be one Auto Doc? that just seems Titanic life boat level design flaw.
In conclusion, the movie guys did a good job, but the writing is irredeemably awful, and I would not suggest this movie to anyone.