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- Blu-ray: Passengers
- Rating: PG-13
- Starring: Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, David Morse, Andre Braugher, Dianne Wiest
- Written By: Ronnie Christensen
- Directed By: Rodrigo García
- Distributor: Sony Pictures
- Original Year of Release: 2008 (Theatrical, 2009 (Blu-ray)
- Extras: Deleted Scene, Commentary, Making of, Analysis of a Plane Crash
Essentially a decent ghost story.
By Robert T. Trate
May 26, 2009
Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson in Passengers on Blu-ray
© Mania.com/Robert Trate
It may not be the first or last thing on your mind when you board a plane but it does happen. The window cracks, the engine catches fire or a stewardess is sucked right out the door. If you have aerophobia, the fear flying, fear not because Passengers has little to do with the actual crash of an airplane. It deals more with its survivors.
Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) is assigned as a grief counselor to the survivors of a plane crash. There are several different survivors and each is handling the situation in their own way. Eric Clark (Patrick Wilson) is the most unique and has decided to attack life and embrace each day. He quits his job, disconnects from the digital age and takes a chance by going after Claire. This is of course is against all the ethics of being a therapist but she eventually falls for his charm. No, this isn’t followed up by a Goo Goo Dolls song and the two of them don’t spend the next twenty minutes falling in love only to learn a terrible secret about one another all so that they can fall out of love and then back into it by the final reel. Passengers is not your typical romantic drama, though it certainly sounds that way.
People keep coming into Claire’s life that either want to reveal what really happened on the doomed flight or want to cover it up. Claire’s mentor Perry (Andre Braugher) tells her that her duty is to the survivors, not to investigate the crash. Again the film looks as if it could take a turn and be about a fish out of water detective putting all the pieces together to solve the mystery of this doomed flight. It isn’t. These deceptions and multiple movie genre plot points are all twists in the story to hide what type of story this film really.
If you are intrigued and want to know why a movie like this is being reviewed on a science fiction, horror fantasy site then rent Passengers. If not read on…
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
In the process of discovering why the plane went down several of her patients have begun to disappear. A representative from the airline (David Morse) is constantly seeking her out and stopping her from looking for them. It is here that the chips begin to fall into place. The film is a nothing more than a prequel of sorts, in story telling, to Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come (1998). Those that die first have to accept that they are dead and then they can begin their journey to the after life. There are several great hints that any fan of the Sixth Sense (1999) will notice but director Rodrigo García keeps you guessing as to who is actually dead.
Passengers is a film that is best discovered on late night cable. It is a great mystery supported by several fine performances. The mystery is discovering exactly what kind of movie is this; that alone what will keep you watching Passengers. It was also probably the biggest problem in the marketing of this film. Though once the real plot is exposed, Passengers will do nothing to change or invigorate the Ghost Story genre. For those fans there really isn’t anything new here.