Director Rodrigo Garcia’s pyscho-thriller, Passengers, features trauma therapist Dr. Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway), whose latest assignment links her to the five survivors of a plane crash that killed over a hundred people. While the airline insists the accident was a result of the pilot’s mere laziness, the survivors seem to recollect a technical malfunction before the plane’s descent -leaving the airline at fault, and a larger case to crack. The survivors slowly, and mysteriously begin to disappear as pieces of the story unfold, prompting Dr. Summers to conduct her own investigations. She’s particularly intrigued by Eric (Patrick Wilson), whose recount of the accident is exceptionally vague in contrast to those of the other survivors. Professional boundaries are broken when her relationship with Eric escalates from patient to lover, and her desire for answers inspires a relentless journey to unveil the truth.
Hathaway delivers an honest performance, honoring the grief-counseling community by exuding the gentle tone and tranquil body language of a therapist when interacting with her “patients”. Unfortunately, her commitment fails to compensate for the incredibly trite, underdeveloped script. Although the story’s pinnacle in the home stretch of the film demonstrates an introspective, endearing theme (and thus, making for a decent payoff) – the bulk of the story leading up to the climax is painfully slow, and essentially, quite tedious to sit through.
The series of arbitrary conflicts presented throughout the story are most likely an attempt to pave the building blocks for the sub-plot lines. Sadly, the random characters lurking through the windows of therapy meetings, and wolf-like dogs barking in Eric’s sub-conscience seems to muddy up the story rather than sharpen it. While open-ended conflict and vague explanations for character choices can help keep a film suspenseful – this, instead, made it nearly impossible for the audience stay even remotely engaged.
Although the final twist resolves all confusion regarding dog delusions and lurking fools, not even Patrick Wilson’s effortlessly charming presence, and swoon-worthy features can convince me that the twelve bucks was worth it.