Two hours to fill, with just two characters for most of the time, plus a charismatic hologram, is a lot of time to kill on the cinematic screen. Oh, and most of the action is set in outer space inside a spaceship. Now there’s a lot of time and space to kill.
Plot time. On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) face living the rest of their lives on board, with every luxury they could ever ask for, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction until they discover the ship is in grave danger. With the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.
When first Jim wakes up to the fact that he’s woken up way too early, play time turns to down time, all too rapidly. He has the run of the ship but soon runs out of ideas to occupy his time (well, wouldn’t you if you woke up 90 years too early?).
His cocktail conversations with the hologram barman (Michael Sheen) only serve to whet his thirst for the real thing. Cue, a spot of meddling with the space capsules of the other sleeping passengers. And guess, what a little reading on their timelines and a nice photo, reveals one woman who could be the ideal companion for those all too lonely nights and days. As a mechanic by trade, Jim’s tinkering with space and time, leads to a rude awakening for Auroa, a journalist, who signed up to the space journey to record the new life.
Now she has a new life as a virtual prisoner of virtual barman’s aminated prose and cheerful concoctions. Of course, Jim doesn’t tell her that she’s his play thing to so speak. At first, they meet for breakfast and Jim can take advantage of Auroa’s executive upgrade on her cereals. Small mercies, eh! Then it’s a full tour of the ship and let’s play together on the upper deck. No need to queue. A quick trip outside, reveals the true beauty of the stars and serves as a warm up for a later thrilling climax and a real race against time.
Cocktail time leads to a dinner date. Again, no need to book or reserve the best seats. Romance in is the air? After all, what else is there left to explore? Surely up in space, their love must be air tight? But, message to self; never reveal your innermost thoughts to a hologram barman in case, he blurts it all out to your sole companion. Aurora finds out to her horror that she could have still been a Sleeping Beauty if only Jim had been more of a Prince Charming.
She confronts him and he admits that she was handpicked to be his Giril Friday to his Robinson Crusoe. Naturally, she’s less than impressed that she going to die before she gets to the new world. For all Jim’s charms, hooking up with a mechanic in an empty spaceship wasn’t how she planned to spend the rest of her unnatural life.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of space inside for them to avoid each other. This stalemate could have gone on for literally ages, until the second half of the plot kicks in.
A third passenger is discovered, the pilot and cracks in the atmosphere and possibly the plot, reveal that the ship’s unstable, never mind its dying helmsman. Destined to destruct at an alarming rate, Jim and Aurora need to work together to save the sleeping passengers and the plot; although, as there’s only one spare pod, only one of them can go back to sleep. Tough one, eh?
Still awake? Actually, it’s not a bad movie, there’s plenty of space to imagine their dilemma’s and wonder what you’d do in Jim’s situation. Call up a nerdy, whinging old bore, to discuss the time of day over morning muesli – probably not!
The action adventure conclusion jolts the film into life, and fast tracks us into a life or death ending with a touch of poignancy besides.
All in all, it more than passes the time, forgive the pun, which I deliberately left until last.