Sunday, 1 January 2017

REVIEW - PASSENGERS (MORTEN TYLDUM)


Entrapment, extreme emotional manipulation, premeditated rape. The comprehensive dissolution of the dignity and the identity of a woman. There you go, that's what Passengers is about. Is it all the more reprehensible for devising such elaborate, seductive decoys with which to distract us foolish consumers, or then for failing to devise decoys with which to actually satisfy us? I can attest to the plain, perfect, literally naked pleasure in beholding the sight of Jennifer Lawrence in a swimsuit sent from the heavens, or of Chris Pratt's remarkable rear on multiple occasions. But this is ephemeral pleasure, and itself dwarfed by that provided by even the most meagre pornography. Otherwise, Passengers is merely slick, sexy trash, the most expensive disposable waste conceivable. It's a vapid romance, a ridiculous sci-fi thriller, and a loathsome drama. Jon Spaihts has mistaken the flickering of a few dim lightbulbs in his mind for genuine invention, or ideas of actual substance, and becomes so bafflingly preoccupied with tending to these trivialities that he neglects to resolve the vilest idea of all, residing in clear sight at this film's hollow core. "Gee, don't they make a cute couple, though," we're presumably supposed to respond, or perhaps, "Gee, isn't the production design snazzy?" Distraction enough it is not, and Passengers' own admission of such only makes its eventual regression even less palatable. And yet, gee, don't you just wish you could reach through the stereoscopy and grab Chris Pratt's nude buttocks? Ok, so I did get distracted. Just a little bit.