Bad stories — especially ones that lack conviction and/or coherence — can sink compelling performances and visual artistry. Think back to how Prometheus the Movie crushed the hope of Prometheus the Trailer, and then know that the same guy wrote Passengers … a decade ago.
Sure, for 20-25 minutes, we’re given Starlord Stranded in Space; a visually compelling sequence that upgrades Wilson the Volleyball for Android Michael Sheen. Then J.Law is added to the mix in a manner that promises dark philosophical drama, an introspection of the sci-fi soul.
Then, in true Hollywood fashion, Passengers throws it all away with a series of ‘splosions and inexplicable saves that may be topped only by the inexplicable choice(s) of our voyagers on the USS Stockholm (Syndrome).
Yes, despite the story issues, there are things to savor: Lawrence’s performance upon learning why her character is stranded and her zero-gravity swimming pool come to mind. But the best use of your time and money is to spend a buck fifty at Redbox, then debate how the last hour should have been written differently.
Worth 4 of my 7 run-on sentences.