This is Do Not Get on That Plane week. Passengers is currently available on instant Netflix.
PASS: Passengers (2008) – Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some scary elements and sensuality.
“When therapist Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) starts working with the surviving passengers of a plane crash, she discovers that their individual accounts of the tragedy differ significantly from the airlines official version. As Claire digs deeper for the truth, beyond the airlines sanitized statements, the survivors suddenly begin to vanish, leaving her swimming in a dark abyss of intrigue and conspiracy.”
“The truth heals. Who said that?” – “I dont know, some dead white guy”
There is no getting around it. Anne Hathaway is really likable. She seems more at home with something in the comedy genre however. this is not a good role for her.
She is aided by an able if non-flashy cast. Patrick (Watchmen) Wilson is a central part of her enigma. Andre (The Mist) Braugher is her boss. Diane (Law & Order) Wiest plays a really creepy neighbor. David (St. Elsewhere) Morse has a small part as Arkin.
The central premise of the movie, survivors of a plane crash start disappearing, could be made into a good horror movie. The problem is that movie is Final Destination. If you want a science fiction version then you have Millenium.
The central problem with the movie is actually Anne Hathaway and her character, Claire. Her portrayal of a grief/crisis counselor/psychologist is about as believable as Denise Richards as nuclear scientist Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough (my personal yardstick for credibility).
Claire is completely irresponsible and unprofessional – so much so that one character even feels the need to comment on it. For a counselor, she never ever listens to her patients. Her professional conduct would make House blush. I am not sure whether or not Anne Hathaway has the acting chops to pull this part off as it is written so badly.
I like reveal movies – movies where you find out something at the end that changes your whole perception of the story. A really good reveal movie stands by itself without the reveal. The Sixth Sense is a very good movie until the end when it becomes a great movie.
The other thing a really good reveal movie does is to not give away that there is going to be a reveal. To use The Sixth Sense again as an example – unless you have been told ahead of time, you do not know there is going to be a game changer ending (my apologies to the three people out there who have not seen or read anything about The Sixth Sense).
This movie does not make any sense and the mystery is kept very vague – these are two hallmarks of a bad reveal movie. They telegraph all throughout the film that there will be a reveal which is why I do not feel bad calling it one.
I kept hoping that the reveal would make this worthwhile. Instead you will either end up scratching your head at the leaps in logic or you will be irritated because it simply rips off the ending to another film.
Either way it is not worth your time. Give this one a pass.
People Watch: Look for William B. Davis aka Cigarette Smoking Man from X-Files as Jack.