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July 12, 2009


by Franz Patrick

Passengers (2008)
★ / ★★★★

This is supposed to be a thriller but it’s not thrilling in any way. I couldn’t believe this was directed by Rodrigo García, also the director of the accomplished film called “Nine Lives,” because this movie feels like it does not have focus when it comes to character development, tone and what it wants to convey. Anne Hathaway stars as a therapist who was assigned to help the psychology of the survivors of a plane crash. Along the way, she falls for one of them–the ever-charming Patrick Wilson. If this picture had been a romantic comedy or a romantic drama, it would have worked for me because the two of them have great chemistry. However, this is a supernatural thriller and the film spent too much time observing their relationship to the point where I kept thinking, “Where is this going? How come no one is exploring the mystery angle of the story?” That lack of direction was glaring because I was expecting for Hathaway to unravel questions about the plane crash. Instead, she becomes sort of a secondary character because she really was not given much to do. The same goes Dianne Weist, David Morse and Clea DuVall–three actors who are usually fantastic when they have a challenging role. As for the twists, they felt forced because the core of the picture was not established in a strong way. There is not much more to say other than to skip this movie. It saddens me whenever talented actors get stuck in a dreadful movie like this. Were they just in it for a quick buck? Did they really believe in the story’s potential to entertain? If it’s the former, it’s understandable. But if it’s the latter, the script should have been a signal for a refusal and take up another better project that’s worth their time (and ours).


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