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12.21.2016

Let's Go To The Movies - Passengers

The last movie I saw in the theaters this year was Passengers.

WARNING: This post contains major plot spoilers. I usually try my best not to give anything away in my reviews, but I just couldn't with this one. My feelings for the film could not be adequately expressed without revealing major plot points for reference. So, stop reading now if you don't want to know the details.

Aboard the space ship Avalon, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) find they've been awaken out of hibernation 90 years before their scheduled arrival on the far off planet, Homestead II. When the Avalon starts malfunctioning, the two risk their lives in an attempt to fix the ship and save the additional 5,000 helpless passengers still in slumber.

Okay, where to start with this one.

This movie made me mad. Seriously, the more and more I watched the more pissed off I became until I was basically fuming by the time I got home. I don't think I've ever had such a visceral reaction to a film before.

This film was pure male fantasy, and here's why.

HE WOKE HER UP!!

He frigging WOKE...HER...UP!

You see, it is only Jim that gets accidentally awakened. After over a year in isolation on the ship, he's rightfully sort of losing it, and starts focusing in on sleeping passenger, Aurora. Naming the character Aurora only solidifies their intent she be his Sleeping Beauty. When he realizes he knows how to wake her up (he's an engineer, of course), to his credit he does suffer quite the crisis of conscious on whether or not to do it. However, he does, and with that decision I was out.

You see, this movie only works (and I use that term loosely) because it's Chris Pratt waking her up, and they, of course, fall in love. He's an attractive guy, so they're hoping you think, who wouldn't want to be stranded alone on a spaceship with Chris Pratt?

But I just kept thinking, what if it wasn't him. What if it was you and some gross old dude woke you up instead? Can you just imagine for a second how that would feel? If he was only looking for companionship, he could have woken up another man to play basketball and video games with. No, he woke her up because he wanted female companionship, if you know what I mean. The ramifications of being woken up too early on this ship means they will die on the ship. So, waking her up was essentially murdering her. It's just another situation of a man trying to make major life decisions for a woman without her consent. Even worse, they wrapped it up and delivered it to us in the form of so-called "entertainment."

This movie could have been saved though. It actually could have been really good. The concept was interesting, the cast good, and the special effects were cool. The scene where the gravity goes out while Jennifer Lawrence is in the pool was awesome. All they had to do to fix the film, and it's so obvious a solution, was to reverse the roles.

You see, Aurora doesn't even get to do anything spectacular to help save the ship. It's all Jim - he's the engineer. She's a writer, and of course, writes about the whole experience after the fact. Wait, I'm sorry, she does use her fine make-up skills to fix up their robot bartender's face after it gets damaged.

But wouldn't it have been such an interesting twist if Aurora was the engineer who decides to wake Jim up to be her personal play thing, and she's the one who saves the day instead. That's the story I would have liked to see, and one that should be, but alas, has yet to be told.

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