Futurama meets Robinson Crusoe with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt Discuss this article

© ITP Images

This interstellar sci-fi misfire dreams up one of the most intriguing “what would you do?” scenarios in recent movie memory – and takes it precisely nowhere. The setup is essentially Futurama meets Robinson Crusoe, as cryogenically frozen interplanetary colonist James (a bland Chris Pratt) is accidentally awoken 90 years too early. After a brief spot of cabin fever and a lot of lonely chats with barman-bot Michael Sheen, James starts to realise that he can’t survive out here alone. But if he re-animates a companion, won’t he essentially be stealing that person’s life?

You can probably guess what happens next, given that Jennifer Lawrence is all over the trailer. She’s Aurora, an author, now stuck in a giant, drifting hypermall-hotel, centuries from help, with a man she barely knows.

It’s in the scenes following Aurora’s emergence from cryo-sleep that Passengers is most promising, the ramifications of James’ actions offering up all kinds of fascinating dramatic opportunities and dark moral mind games. Sadly, writer Jon Spaihts and director Morten Tyldum
(The Imitation Game) opt for none of the above, preferring a creaky romantic drama that’s more dubious the more you think about it, followed by a spot of ropey late-in-the-day spaceship action.

There are a handful of really interesting scenes, but for the most part Passengers is so anodyne, so frightened of the ethically troubling opportunities inherent in the set-up you’ll be longing for a nice nap yourself by the end.

The bottom line
Ultimately forgettable and silly.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Abu Dhabi,


  • Released: Wed, 21 Dec
  • Director: Morten Tyldum
  • Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Our favourite features