But ... but ... Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence were supposed to give us "Titanic" in space! They are perfect together outside of "Passengers" -- in the publicity leading up to the premiere -- so how is it possible that their combined superpowers could result in something with such brutal reviews?
Entertainment Weekly just gave the film a grade of D+ (way harsh, Tai) adding this summation to the end of the critique: "To recap, 1.) Passengers is bad. 2.) Michael Sheen is great. 3.) As for the rest, save your money."
They are not going rogue with that review, though. So far, Rotten Tomatoes has only posted reviews from 11 outlets but nine are "rotten" and only two "fresh," giving it a current 18 percent rating. That's not good. The actual words used to describe the movie are even less than not good.
Here are some of the blurbs chosen to represent the reviews:
"Titanic" in space? No, but it's certainly a disaster.
An unwelcome thematic stain regarding issues of male captivity fantasy and victimization makes the heroic derring-do that dominates the second half ring laughably hollow.
While Lawrence and Pratt undeniably possess the magic spark of on-screen chemistry, the basic creepiness of this anti-meet-cute extinguishes what the film-makers presumably are hoping is a warm fuzzy glow of spiky, sparky interaction.
"Passengers" is the tale of a lonely guy in space, the drama of an ethical conundrum, a love story featuring two of the hottest actors on the planet, and a turbulent sci-fi action-adventure - and for all of that, it manages to be not a very good movie.
It tries to pass itself off as romantic but it doesn't seem to realize that it's actually careened headlong into stalker territory.
Without having seen the movie, it's a surprise to see so many reviews focus on a creepy/stalker/male fantasy/control angle. That did not come across in the trailers, which made it seem like a modern sci-fi dystopian love story. But these critics speak for themselves, not the rest of us, so there's still hope that we will completely disagree -- about this movie and "Collateral Beauty," which they also hated. Tough crowd.
"Passengers" opens December 21.
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