In Passengers, this is the situation Jim Preston (Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy) finds himself in when he awakens from hibernation on the Avalon to discover he is utterly alone on this magnificent spaceship, with everyone else asleep. For a while, it's pretty cool. Sure, he isn't a Gold Class passenger, so he can't get the really good coffee variations and high end meals, but there's endless movies to watch, interactive video and sports games to play, and the ever-present companionship of the cleaner bots that follow him around, picking up every crumb. Then he wanders into the bar and discovers another person! Well, Arthur (Michael Sheen, Underworld, Resistance) the bartender isn't exactly a person; he's an android, but he always seems to know exactly what to say, he is always there to offer a drink, and he makes for very pleasant company.
Jim focuses on what may have happened and how he could fix it. He's an engineer, after all. Try as he might, he can't get into the bridge where the crew lies in hibernation and he can't get himself back to sleep, so he soon falls into a deep depression. Being alone for a year or more can do that to someone. But then another passenger awakens, beautiful Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games), a witty writer from New York. She is terrified at first, just as Jim was, but soon enough they meet and hit it off, and the pair find themselves enjoying the luxuries of the ship together. Unfortunately, they begin to notice little issues with the ship's cleaner bots, and the occasional reboot of a room's system. Something is slowly going horribly wrong with the ship, and to make matters worse, Aurora makes a frightening discovery of her own. Then a crew member named Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix Series) wakes up and confirms something is definitely awry with the ship, so they must all work together if they have any hope of survival.
Passengers is honestly not what I thought it would be going into it. Based on the trailers, I was expecting an action-packed thriller, and while there were definitely some intense scenes, it was much more of a romantic drama with some action/adventure thrown into the mix. Don't get me wrong, it's a great movie, just a little different than my initial expectations, but it definitely doesn't disappoint.
First and foremost, the visuals of Passengers are spectacular. Space is gorgeous, the ship is magnificent, and the special effects are truly commendable. In fact, there's a featurette devoted to them and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, along with the rest of the special features, simply because I was interested in how they pulled off some of the scenes. There is a nice selection of deleted scenes which provide a little bit more of the story, along with a featurette with Chris Pratt on set. The man is funny and makes everything a joy. There are featurettes on casting the film, creating the Avalon (because let's face it, there aren't giant luxury spaceship cruise liner sets just lying around for them to use), set outtakes where the chemistry and playfulness between Pratt and Lawrence is clear, and finally a selection of promo ads for becoming a colonist on Homestead II, the planet where the Avalon was headed. There's also a first look at the Passengers Awakening VR Experience.
Overall, I loved Passengers. It's a great flick where you can just sit back and enjoy the beauty of space while watching a delightful story play out. There are added special features on the Blu-ray edition, but if you have 4K, you should probably shell out the extra few bucks for it. The Blu-ray looked amazing on our 4K setup, so I can only imagine how fantastic it would have looked in 4K. Highly recommended.