Shot on huge, immersive sets that showcase carefully considered production design, Passengers visual efforts rank with the best space movies. The camera frequently gives us a sense of the enormity of this project and seeing our tiny couple within this space adds to the sense of isolation. On the downside, the story struggles with the usual problem of keeping two people busy with little other human interaction. This is especially true for Lawrence’s character who doesn’t have engineering skills and often plays the stereotypical helpless female while she observes her handyman cohort figuring out how to fix a nuclear reactor with a few things he has lying about the ship.
While certainly not a resounding endorsement for current long-term space plans, Passengers still delivers an engaging two hours of what it could be like to be stuck on the longest road trip ever. Anyone want to play constellation bingo?