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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Passengers (3/14/2017)


Rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity and action/peril.

Starring Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne

Directed by Morten Tyldum


Todd's Rating: Rental

Dynamic ImagePassengers is an interesting sci-fi film.

Two passengers board a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim and Aurora try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction... only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

Passengers has two A-list stars and a big Hollywood budget, but the film feels more like an independent sci-fi film. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence make a strong couple. They have great chemistry and on screen presence. Pratt is both dramatic and funny and really does a great job of carrying the film.

The film isn’t afraid to explore some pretty dark territory – the biggest of course is a choice made by the main character. That being said, although his actions are questionable, they force the audience to ask the “what would I do?” question. And I believe the biggest reason for that is the well-written script.

In the first 75 minutes of the film we are forced to wrestle with questions of ethics and morality and it is smart, clever and a little disturbing. The characters are developed well and there is even a strong romance storyline. The final 40 minutes feel like someone else wrote them. Most likely this is because there is a dramatic shift to clichéd “save the ship” action scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the action scenes; it just felt like two different films.

I’m not surprised the film didn’t do well at the box office; because it felt like two different films, it can be difficult to market a movie like this. If you are looking for a Star Wars-like science fiction action movie, you may be disappointed. On the other had if you are looking for a romantic drama, you may want to skip this one entirely.

Passengers may be an odd movie, but its moral dilemmas and uncomfortable questions are engaging and there are enough special effects to keep the audience entertained.

It is a journey worth taking. Passengers is a strong “Rental.”

SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There are some sex and kissing scenes, and there is partial nudity (but nothing fully exposed, except in two different scenes we see Chris Pratt naked from behind).

There is mild violence throughout the film. And the language is very mild, especially for a PG-13 film.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. How did you feel about Jim’s decision?

  2. What do you do when you have a difficult decision to make?

  3. Read Proverbs 3:5-6

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

  4. What advice does this passage give us?

  5. How can we trust in the lord when we are facing a difficult decision?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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