On the surface, Lionsgate’s new sci-fi adventure Passengers it feels like it’s taking a page from the many YO dystopian films that have populated multiplexes in recent years. This one comes from director Neil Burger’s original screenplay, but the concept works tailor-made to create another franchise – and an excuse – to hire a bustling young cast of 22-year-olds and pit them against each other, this time on an 83-year journey to another planet where will hopefully be able to colonize a new society and keep the human race, at the end of its rope on Earth, still viable with a crack at rebirth.
There are elements of many other movies you’ve watched here in YA adaptations Hunger Games to Lord of the Flies, together with 2001: A Space Odyssey and even touch Cocoon i West Side Story – the latter because of the division between the Jets and the Sharks. It’s its own way that Burger’s film has such a division, too, but I’m going ahead of myself.
It is far into the future, and the Earth, as often happens in these films, is on the verge of extinction as far as the human race is concerned. A group of young people, bred specifically from birth to train and participate in this spaceship for some other existence, are ready to embark on their mission to continue the human race and colonize a new society in the future for about eight decades, lives played in a closed atmosphere that will also test their rigor and durability.
Richard (Colin Farrell) has been their guardian since they were little, he is proud to nurture them in this experiment, and although he doesn’t have to go, he decided to follow them on the journey even though he knows he won’t live to see. He’s the only person over 30 on the ship, but a good guy who still kept a secret from his young crew: They feed them The Blue, a drink that controls their human urges and feelings – only they think they’re just simple vitamins until they discover the opposite, and then all hell is dissolved and the behavior often seen in youth comes to the surface in a way that this group has never experienced.
Among them is the insecure but intriguing Christopher (Tye Sheridan), who awakens a bit defiantly but also tries to keep his feelings in check with the moral center, all the while appearing as the titular leader after Richard disappears from the scene. His good friend Zac (Dunkirkova Fionn Whitehead) is a real living wire, an intense kind of personality that not only brings a sense of wildness to her colleagues, but also to the rather compressed nature of the film whenever it is gone. In the middle between them is Sela’s ship’s medical service chief (Lily-Rose Depp), who also explores her own human needs after she is released, but also tries to keep a sense of coolness and responsibility. There are others with their own programs, including Phoebe (Chanté Adams) and Edward (Isaac Hempstead Wright – Bran from Game of Thrones),, a key technological genius who suspects that there is an alien among them and sets out in search of him.
Once Blue appears, long-suppressed human desires surface, sexual needs arise, fights break out, and Zac returns to his dark side dividing the once united crew into two factions, forcing a conflict between his followers and those of Christopher who maintain this. a journey on the road before everything falls apart. In other words, people will be people no matter where they might find themselves.
What Burger is trying to do is to study us when our feelings, our strengths and flaws and complications are released, all in this Petri dish that will soon explode. Although this film belongs straight to the typical science fiction genre of the universe, its goals are complex in revealing our basic humanity and all the contradictions in it. No doubt, if successful, this is set for a potential sequel and franchise, something Lionsgate has a lot of experience in. Sometimes everything seems a little too salty, except for Zac’s liveliness (Whitehead steals the film only on raw energy), but in the end when the action gets seriously heightened and our interest increases. Sheridan (COM)X Men: Dark Phoenix) has long been a young actor to watch, and if this one doesn’t reach the levels of Spielberg’s sci-fi rehearsal Ready player one in which he starred, still allows him to show off. Depp, Johnny’s daughter, shows a sincere promise here, underestimated but as effective as Sela. Farrell’s role doesn’t give the actor much of a chance to show reach, but it does give gravity to an cast that includes other budding people Viveik Kalra, Archie Madekwe, Quintess Swindell and Madison Hu.
Producers are Burger, Basil Iwanyk and Brendon Boye. Lionsgate opens it in theaters on Friday.
Check out my video review above with scenes from the movie. Are you planning to see Passengers? Let us know what you think.