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Putting aside the weightier matters for the evening, I thought I would reminisce about a recent evening at the theater. As it happened, the honor fell to me to escort my daughter and several of her friends to see a movie. The movie was Passengers.

Most of the films I see are with and for my daughter. Any time with her is quality time. But every once in a while I get surprised and independently enjoy the show itself. Actually, I’ll admit she has pretty good tastes. You’ll recall my happy viewing last year of Zootopia.

Anyhow we all went over to the big, nice mall, home to the big, nice AMC theater. It’s the big, nice mall down the street from the even bigger, nicer mall (more on that one at a later date). Arriving early allowed for malling around for about two hours. That, for me, consisted of repeatedly moving from one promenade bench to another. I heard much about “Instagram”…

It was a 7:30ish showtime for Passengers. I love my daughter and I think her friends are swell but I fully expected to nap through this one. I obligatorily sat several seats away. That’s what the cool dad’s do: it gives space but allows for vigilance. It also affords a nap if necessary. In this case, it was not.

I actually liked this movie.

Set in the indeterminate but not-too-distant future, the movie finds the lovely Jennifer Lawrence, some guy I don’t know, and about 5,000 other passengers asleep on a 120-year voyage to a new planet.

As you may have heard elsewhere, the plot revolves around Lawrence and that guy waking up too early. Way too early. I’m not going to give away the whys and hows but they end up with 90 years on their hands. Luckily they’re on a pretty cool luxury ship where everything is automated.


Sony Pictures.

She’s a bit more … realistic than say a vessel from Star Wars or Star Trek. One gets the impression this thing might really fly in the not-too-distant but indeterminate future. Power comes from fusion, routed to an ion drive. Technically, possible stuff. It also features a ritzy bar manned by a British robot.



It’s part love story and part science fiction thriller. As for the first part: what would you do, stranded on a huge spaceship for 90 years with Jennifer Lawrence? Yep. The thriller bit is a little more complicated. The whole thing is complicated really. Though I thought it was all well inter-woven.

The ship has some major issues. And our heroes, being the only people awake, have to deal with them. A member of the crew also comes to for a short period but isn’t a major character – critically important, it seems, but he dies due to the overall deteriorating condition of the ship.

There’s a bit of an ethical dilemma as well. Initially it seems downright criminal in nature. However, as seen by the end of the story, it turns out poetically fated to have happened and is the one thing that prevents catastrophe.

After many twists and turns, Lawrence and the dude wind up with an unexpected but creatively happy ending.

So it is that I recommend this movie: part reverse-Titanic in space, part reverse-Rip Van Winkle (also in space), and part … some other space-based romance action stuff. There’s even a little comedy thrown in too. I think you’ll like it. I suppose it would make an ideal date movie. Also a good movie for the middle school girls in your life. Then again, it was even a good movie for a curmudgeonly chaperon.

Jennifer Lawrence is hot.

You’re welcome.