Thursday, 29 December 2016



Hunger Games Of The Galaxy.

116 Minutes. Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne & Andy Garcia. Director: Morten Tyldum.

Quick question! If you were marooned on a desert island who would be the one person you would choose to be cast away with...after Wilson of course? Okay let's be more specific. Which Hollywood heartthrob or starlet would you most like to be lost in space with all on your own? Man or woman two of the sexiest and successful actors on the planet right now, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence would probably be pretty high on your list. The faces that turned the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' comics (not to mention the 'X-Men' ones...we have another superhero crossover here) and 'Hunger Games' books into formidable franchises. All whilst winning Oscars for the likes of 'Silver Lining Play Books' and nominations for sheer self in 'Joy' and rebooting 50 year old, Hollywoodland classic pictures like 'The Magnificent Seven', not to mention modern day classics of the 'Jurassic' era. But if you were stranded on a Star-Lord type of spaceship all by your lonesome would you wake one of them up out of a 'Captain America' like cryogenic sleep for company?! But WAIT you freak, this is after they've been frozen for 30 years and have around another Steve Rogers 90 left before they arrive on their new planetary home with their new, current status dormant friends who have chosen to take the century long, family and friends coffin abandoning 'Interstellar' trip away from the blue planet earth. Some would call that a major stalker alert. Others...murder. That's just some of the complex, conflicted questions raised by inspired director of 'Dr. Strange's' Benedict Cumberbatch's 'The Imitiation Game' Morten Tyldum with his movie 'Passengers'. Not to be confused with the Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson airplane horror...I'm assuming it's that...that's not a review. This is. So time to play Iggy Pop passenger and ride through the solar system tonight.

Tyldum gives us a tidal wave of questionable character and extra baggage on this trip through moral murk and the stars of galaxies far, far away in a sci-fi that won't be lost in the trek of all the other space science fictions out there in this rogue 'Star Wars' reboot awakening era. We have yet to see the 'Life' of Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal (not to be confused with the James Dean one of Dane DeHaan that only came out last year), DeHaan's 'Fifth Element' like 'Valerian' adaptation with model and real 'Suicide Squad' villain Cara Delevingne and of course the latest 'Alien: Covenant' horror in 2017. And this year we have already visited '10 Cloverfield Lane' again and had a 'Resurgence' of the 90's classic 'Independence Day' that was unfortunatly more like a regurgitation, but this pre-'Arrival' stands out from the rest not starring Amy Adams...and not just because of Jennifer Lawrence. And it's because of it's original...albeit obnoxious ides which not only leaves you leaving the cinema asking what you would do (I mean would you even take this friend and family killing universe flight away from your life), but questions what we're all made of and just what is the matter with us. And as this 'Deep Space Nine' on it's side like sinking ship faces it's own 'Titanic' like fate with the seas of spaces meteors acting like icebergs this love story is anything but Jack and Rosey (we're pretty sure Jen wouldn't give Chris any room on that plank of wood either and we're not talking about her characters morals...we're talking about his). At least the graphics and C.G. view of the ships quarters and all the space between blooms. One scene that truly makes waves sees Jennifer Lawrence literally swim through zero gravity. Sure there is a repelling nature to the themes of this tale. But you can't deny the magnetism of the on-screen power couple that forces you to your seat like gravity boots.

And 'Passengers' does ride close to the floor, staying grounded in principle and the conflicts and cruelty of manipulating relationships after a shotgun like blast of shock and awful behaviour. Marvel at how someone as charismatic as Chris Pratt's lead really acts more like his last name as you are left repeating it more than his Twitter handle, but creep through the subtext and you might see 'Headhunter' literally employee firing line, Norwegian director Tyldum would be offering us up a cautionary tale that acts as a moral modern metaphor to how we treat love and life these days from the cherry pick and dump choose nature of dating to the swipe left act of social media relationship replacement, if only we'd take our face out our phones for a stalk breaking minute. Science fiction has been using future fables to hold up a moral mirror of metaphor and ask us deeper questions than our place amongst the stars since the dawn of its time. From the by the book forefather, Phillip K. Dick beginnings that has inspired every modern sci-fi idea and literal script by book movie from 'Total Recall' to 'Blade Runner'. To this now new age of '2049' where Denis Villeneuve's decades in the making sequel goes to blaster war with another Ridley Scott produced, classic, timeless, originator epic as the 'Alien' will now burst out the chest and mind of Neil Blomkamp. A modern K. Dick chap with his 'Elysium' and 'District 9' real modern world, and new look on space and time today. You only have to read the book 'Arrival' is based on and Ted Chiang's 'Story Of Your Life' shorts to look and read more into these existential questions based on much more than our universes place. And with Pratt bringing some sympathy and accountability to his characters devils and Jennifer Lawrence offering up some of the best, aggravated acting of her career (aside from when she wakes's hard to mask faking being 'Dazed and Confused' unless your names McConaughey "alright, alright, alright"?) on this one-man ship of truly akward to horrifying engineering stakes, these two still have chemistry despite the combustible nature of their pairing. They offer up another big picture to their already milky way expanding role calls in something that even if ignorant in it's Hollywood polish over decency psoriasis ending that nixes real redemption is still a long way away from the isolated nature of George Clooney's 'Solaris'. And there's even more big names in this superstar matrix in legendary form. As before reuniting with the Neo chosen one of Keanu Reeves in 'John Wick: Chapter 2', Laurence Fishburne returns to space after his 'Event Horizon', with a 'Preadators' like mid-film appearance looking like he needs to take more than a red pill. And if you want to talk about legendary cameos. The great Andy Garcia literally has a walk on. His really is a case of seen it all in the trailers. Although he does bring us his best beard yet. But with all the big names and famous faces here it's the whiskey glass spit and polish of Michael Sheen's android tending bar that really steals the show and pays the tab. Although we still can't unsee this character actor of our time as Tony Blair (or even David Frost) the versatile figure that channeled the late, great David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust for his club owner in 'Tron: Legacy' knows how to raise his own bar once again. Despite being all Lieutenant Dan beneath the waist, showing us all what we thought newsreaders looked like below the desk when we never saw their legs. Even if you'd rather prop up his bar than ride 'Passenger' with our lead that takes Star-Lord's womanising to a whole new jerk the breaks level, you can't deny the star power of Pratt and J-Law's co-pilots. But this galaxy may need a guardian. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

See This If You Liked: 'Lost In Space', 'Solaris', 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'.

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