A very modern interpretation of a Sci-fi film with a strong classical influence. It also manages to throw romance and comedy into the mix as well. Passengers (2016) takes places on the spacecraft, The Avalon, traveling to a distant human colony planet named Homestead II.

And by distant, I mean the journey takes 120 years to complete. With about 5000 passengers in cryogenic sleep, one man is met with the unfortunate fate of being awoken less than halfway through the voyage. Join Chis Pratt, Jenifer Lawrence and Martin Sheen as they attempt to unlock the secrets of their ship, and indeed the secrets of their own.

On the subject of the cast, what is most remarkable about the film is how this tiny cast manage to carry the entire film alone. While the special effects and sets will take your breath away, the performances of Chris Pratt and Jenifer Lawrence will keep you constantly engaged in the drama. It’s worth watching just for their performances alone. Chris Pratt plays Jim Preston, a lowly mechanic in search for work. He is joined by Aurora Lane, a budding writer in search of inspiration, played by Jenifer Lawrence.

Both characters may seem somewhat generic at first, however through the story’s slow but imminent and always lively passing, the acting skills of Lawrence and particularly that of Chis Pratt keep the events of the film constantly lively and intriguing. There is never a dull moment. Pratt brings his signature comedy physicality, while Lawrence gives her all in bringing a lot of emotion to the film. Michael Sheen (and a certain surprise cameo made towards the end of the film) also do a great job of bringing to life smaller characters that you certainly won’t.

Visually and audibly, the film constantly nods too and echoes of other great Sci-fi films, particularly those of Sunshine (2007) in its visual elements and Interstellar (2014) paratactically. Finally, we cannot forget about Thomas Newman’s soundtrack for this film. It manages to bring together a very classical Sci-Fi sound with heavy emotion and some great beats, in such a way that tonally fits the film like a glove, and overall completes a very enjoyable experience.

Passengers is currently showing at Sonar Film for just £4 with a student card, or £4.50 without. Check out their website: http://sonarfilm.co.uk

By Simon Keene 

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