Why was “Passengers” so good?

I don’t do movie reviews, but this story must get acknowledged for its creative construct. Released last year at the box office, a Sci-Fi Fantasy that is probably watched on T.V, rental or even Netflix. This was a story line that hit home quite hard. Deep down, with all the movies portraying doomsday events, there are many believers that the world will end eventually.

With this realist view, this plot starts with an opening gambit updating the viewer on why this Cruiser Space Liner(Avalon) is heading for the far depths of our undiscovered Galaxy. The timeline is the not to distant future, and the futuristic reality of the space travel is not too far fetched. The dangers of space travel and the unknown elements of surprise start this 120 year journey with the avoidance of an oncoming meteorite double the size of the ship.

The ship being in automation is self propelling itself on course despite the collisions that temporarily damaged, tripped the main engine core facility to the ship’s power. The ship auto-regulates, but maybe human intelligence could have been better than artificial intelligence to reach the far-and-away destination of  the COLONY OF HOMESTEAD II (another planet similar in resources and living environment to earth). The trip and disturbance of the ship’s mainframe, causes Jim Preston (a mechanical engineer passenger, lowest level of status, one of the 5000 passengers that must remain hibernated till 4 months till the end of the trip), to break his hibernation rhythm, an open his hibernation pod prematurely.

Jim is faced with the uncertainty of surviving the remaining 90 years, with all the risks associated by being alone, the only human awake on the ship, limited choice because of his status bracelet (unauthorized access to important areas), and the inability to override, send messages instantly back to earth, or restart his pod to go back to hibernation mode. Facing a year of day-in-day-out boredom around the cruiser main deck, space walking on the outside of the barrier, communicating with the friendly Bar Android that serves him at the restaurant, he contemplates suicide, and needs to find solace in another human being to keep sane, find some purpose with the workings of this cruiser liner. There are signs and faults that will lead to further complications with the ship and the irony of seeing a mass of people that are destined for doom, and yet they are escaping a hostile troubled earth.

Jim wakes up another passenger not co-incidently, but chooses a blonde female attractive suiting his type, with the mechanical engineering tools he found in storage to short the pods settings, and also bring Aurora Lane (A writer/publicist from New York, seeking a better life and maybe escaping problems back home) to the wake prematurely. A secret that is shared with the Bar Android, that he made the right choice as a possible companion to spend this everlasting time with. A slow start to intense-sexually charged relationship develops, and the secret is unfortunately leaked causing a breakdown, and a temporary separation in the relationship status with the only two beings that must save this ship cruiser from imploding from the collision that started the hibernation pod fiasco in the first place.

Not realizing the exact location of the problem, a  sickly commander in chief pilot awakens to present the anomaly of problems that need to solved, and his status bracelet becomes the key to getting to all the secure areas that were unauthorized before. With the pilot’s passing, the two realize that it’s only a matter of time that the engine room requires a manual reboot, either the whole ship will suffer an implosion from the core facility outwards on a catastrophic level.

They work together after many months of resentment and separation to get the manual reboot done with the almost life threatening loss of Jim through the vent and drifting towards Space, with the advent of a broken suite, he is rescued by Aurora, brought back to life in the Automated Health Pod to treat the sick and injured. Jim realizes that the pod could only hibernate one individual back to original setting of the other passengers awakening. But in true Romantic fashion, they both need each other, they can’t live without each other. This time of co-habiting is their best chance to paradise, and the movie has a happy ending, as 88 years later the passengers are successfully awakened, the foyer and facilities are filled with trees and experimentation by two pioneers of life. The passengers find out that there ship was in grave danger in the first 30 years of its flight, and an engineer, a pilot and a writer (who kept logs of all the stories and activities) saved their inaugural passage to a better life for which doomsday had overcame disaster with proof of history for the crew and passengers aboard the AVALON.

“Great film that displays the human quotient of love, hate, instinct and intellect”

“Brings the historical context of what it must have done to crew and passengers aboard pioneering ships in the 13th century”

“The duality of man working with machine has its limitations in the desperacy of survival”

A feel-good movie that shows that there is hope in this world. The galaxy being the greater force that can crush dreams and aspirations. It’s the journey in this life that is paramount, and not necessarily the destination.


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