Passengers (DVD)

Survival instinct…

Despite it’s impressive cast, including Patrick Wilson, Anne Hathaway and David Morse, it’s no real surprise that this thriller from Colombian director Rodrigo Garcia has gone straight to DVD. Convoluted and clunky for most of its 90-odd minutes, it has a twist in the tale that, although interesting, comes too late to breathe any real life into proceedings.

Hathaway is grief counsellor Claire, pushed to her professional limits when working with a small group of survivors from a devastating plane crash. Desperate to help them get past their various post-traumatic stresses, Claire instead finds herself plunged into a disturbing mystery when members of her group begin disappearing without trace…

There’s no denying the talents of those involved, in particular Hathaway and Wilson who give solid performances. Unfortunately, though, newcomer Ronnie Christensen’s script would certainly have worked better as a short and just doesn’t have the legs to sustain interest throughout the film’s running time. Indeed, it presents the viewer with a Catch-22 situation; if you guess the twist – and it’s clear almost from the outset that the story simply can’t be all it appears – Passengers becomes an obvious, plodding chore. If you don’t, it will all seem a bit of a mess as giant, unexplained leaps of logic and plotting are necessary to push the story through to its final conclusion that explains, but doesn’t excuse the mess and monotony of the narrative that came before. Clever as it tries to be, the end really doesn’t justify the means and Passengers becomes just another example of a big idea being reduced to cinematic sludge. 2 stars

Extra Features
Director Garcia and Wilson team up for the fairly run-of-the-mill commentary, plus there’s a Making Of, in depth analysis of the impressive crash sequence and a handful of deleted scenes. 2 stars

Stars Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Clea Duvall
Director Rodrigo Garcia
Distributor Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Format DVD & Blu-ray
Released July 27