Anne Hathaway nearly earned herself an Oscar for her stunning performance in Rachel Getting Married, but she also starred in another 2008 movie, the little-known Passengers. A thriller about a young psychologist who is assigned to deal with the survivors of a jet liner crash only to find that the survivors not only have conflicting stories about the events but that they are apparently being hunted by the government, Passengers had potential... But there's a reason why no one has heard of this movie.
Passengers barely received a theatrical release and almost no promotion; the trailers were downright terrible. Still, the movie has a strong cast including Hathaway, Patrick Wilson and a few others, so it was worth a chance - though I only watched it because Sony sent me the DVD to review. Unfortunately, Passengers is exactly what I suspected; a forgettable, dull thriller.
Hathaway is fine in the lead, but is mainly there to look pretty and worried and a variety of combinations of the two. Her character is pretty shallow, and her willingness to fall into the graces of the charming Wilson are a bit forced - since her digressions go against everything her profession believes in. Wilson is also fine, but I'm beginning to think he's a one-track actor; all of his characters, from those in Little Children to Watchmen, come off as sounding the same.
More impactful, however, is director Rordrigo Garcia's contentment with blandness. There's little conflict in Passengers, and even when something "big" seems to be happening, Garcia seems uncommitted to wrapping his hands around it and giving a tug. The result is a picture that moves along at a brisk pace but that presents so little intrigue and excitement that it becomes forgotten almost as quickly as the end credits begin to roll.
The twist ending is one of those endings that may not be completely obvious but that seems necessary for the movie to have any kind of purpose. Unfortunately, by the time you get it, you won't care, and the ending is one of those endings that has been done many times before.
Passengers is not worth your time; I'd think of something clever to say, but that wouldn't fit with the nature of this film.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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