Passengers– an intriguing scifi movie with a moral question mark at the center
First, Jennifer Lawrence was paid 20 million to star in this while Christopher Pratt got 12 million. When I think of Jennifer Lawrence, I always go back to Winters Bone, a superb movie, which was one of her breakout roles. If you haven’t seen Winters Bone, check it out. The way she stalks those hills– superb.
Anyway. This movie was not well received from the reviews I’d read and the overall reaction. So I have to be contrarian and say I really liked it. I actually liked it better than Arrival, which was well reviewed and everyone thought was the cat’s meow, whatever the hell that means, and Cool Gus doesn’t like cat’s meowing anyway. That’s just my weird brain, which we’ve discussed.
I think the core problem with Passengers is the decision Pratt makes. When I workshop writing I talk about how redemption is the strongest character arc, but there are times when the hero isn’t redeemable. A lot of people think his decision fell into that category. I think its on the fenceline. The bottom line is, the way the story played out, he was certainly redeemed; twice.
Maybe it was just me the writer– I liked how it was obvious the writers had really looked at a lot of issues and answered them one way or another. Some people might not have liked the answers, but at least they were addressed. The climax felt a bit cliche, but it’s sort of like writing a thriller– you’ve only got so many ways to threaten everyone.
I also liked some things that weren’t done. No children at the end. That was interesting. I knew what the crew would see walking out after they woke– told my wife about halfway through what that would be, but I was wondering about kids.
One thing is that science fiction allows us to showcase moral issues in unique ways. Reality is grey. Decisions are hard.
We watched it in our new den, with the fireplace going and Cool Gus snoring at our feet so maybe that helped too. Cool Gus makes anything better.
I’ve currently got my web site being rebuilt and am excited about that. A cleaner, simpler look, where you can find books in order, links, and the key info. No bells and whistles. Just the deal.
Also, I’ve been redoing and adding a bunch of slideshares. I put all the years from the Time Patrol missions sort of together and have been linking things and cleaning them. Feel free to check out the free slideshows here.
I’ll be presenting for the Chattanooga Writers Guild on Tuesday evening if anyone is nearby and wants to stop by.
Nothing but good times ahead!
Originally published at writeitforward.com on March 12, 2017.