By Mack Chico
Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements including some scary images, and sensuality.
Release Date: 2008-10-24
Starring: Ronnie Christensen
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‘Passengers’, the fifth film from Rodrigo Garcia, son of the Colombian nobel prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, sets out to be a profound romantic thriller, yet delivers a platitudinous experience worth only a DVD sit, maybe if that.
The story begins with five survivors of a plane crash. A young therapist, Claire (Anne Hathaway), is assigned to counsel them. When they share their recollections of the incident, they begin to disappear mysteriously, one by one except Eric (Patrick Wilson), the most secretive of the passengers. Eric seems to hold all the answers to this enigmatic puzzle.
Passengers is a thriller that doesn’t thrill or chill the spine. It doesn’t deliver as promised, perhaps due to a disjointed script by Ronnie Christensen. As a result, the film feels uninspired and unsuspenseful. Garcia manages to at least capture the great chemistry between Wilson and Hathaway, by far the film’s best moments. He has shown he can create films with a strong subject matter, in particular with a female cast (Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Ten Tiny Love Stories, Nine Lives), but unfortunately it hasn’t translated into success, the same problem his father “Gabo” suffers from.
Outside of some serviceable special effects, a charming performance by the two protagonists, there is nothing else of substance to latch on to. I imagine it seemed great on paper – “ ‘It’ girl Anne Hathaway stars in a thriller love story full of suspense, ghosts and a Hollywood plane crash” – except no one expected the banality of the outcome. The film fits better as Saturday night fare on cable.