By Clint Morris
To say much about the plot for â€˜â€™Passengersâ€™â€™ would be robbing you of its funnest element: the goofy-but-kinda-surprising third-act. So what can I say? Well, I can tell you that Patrick Wilson (â€œLittle Childrenâ€) plays one of a group of plane-crash survivors who are receiving grief counseling from young therapist Claire (Anne Hathaway).
Whilst she falls head over heels in love for the charming but mysterious Eric, some of the other passengers come to the realization that the plane crash wasnâ€™t caused by human error. Of course, all is not what it seems â€“ including the picture itself which isnâ€™t the psychosomatic romantic dramedy it tries to pass itself off as in the first half.
Itâ€™s as messy as a teenagerâ€™s bedroom, and yet this befuddled romantic spookfest remains strangely entertaining â€“ if even in a guilty-pleasure kinda way. Nothing about it plays very credible (Anne Hathaway as a doctor!? Ha!) and director Rodrigo Garcia doesnâ€™t seem to know what type of film heâ€™s actually trying to make (the tone moves more than wind chimes on a stormy night), but the story at itâ€™s core isnâ€™t actually a bad one â€“ in fact, itâ€™s somewhat intriguing, if not even tenuously original.
The leads do a reasonably good job of convincing us theyâ€™re in love (and that one of them is a doctor! Ha! Oh, I mentioned that?) with Wilson also seemingly relishing the chance to do something a little lighter for a change (though he seems to have borrowed his interpretation of the mysterious Eric from Jeff Bridgesâ€™ Starman or Kevin Spaceyâ€™s here). The supporting cast â€“ including David Morse, Dianne Wiest, Andre Braugher, Clea DuVall and â€œX-Filesâ€ fave William B.Davis, in a blink-and-youâ€™ll-miss-him cameo â€“ all act as if theyâ€™re in a better movie, which is good for us, and Edward Shearmur provides the kind of affecting, emotionally-stirring score youâ€™d expect in a much more draining movie experience.
All-in-all this is a fairly junky movie thatâ€™s badly in need of a GPS to steer it in the right direction, but itâ€™s also one that, if you donâ€™t think too much about it (itâ€™s full of holes), you might just find yourself enjoying it.
A Hitchcockian thriller thatâ€™ll keep you guessing till the last reel – – or so it intended.