By Clint Morris

To say much about the plot for ‘’Passengers’’ 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 (“Little Children”) 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 wasn’t caused by human error. Of course, all is not what it seems – including the picture itself which isn’t the psychosomatic romantic dramedy it tries to pass itself off as in the first half.

It’s as messy as a teenager’s bedroom, and yet this befuddled romantic spookfest remains strangely entertaining – if even in a guilty-pleasure kinda way. Nothing about it plays very credible (Anne Hathaway as a doctor!? Ha!) and director Rodrigo Garcia doesn’t seem to know what type of film he’s actually trying to make (the tone moves more than wind chimes on a stormy night), but the story at it’s core isn’t actually a bad one – in fact, it’s somewhat intriguing, if not even tenuously original.

The leads do a reasonably good job of convincing us they’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 Bridges’ Starman or Kevin Spacey’s here). The supporting cast – including David Morse, Dianne Wiest, Andre Braugher, Clea DuVall and “X-Files” fave William B.Davis, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo – all act as if they’re in a better movie, which is good for us, and Edward Shearmur provides the kind of affecting, emotionally-stirring score you’d expect in a much more draining movie experience.

All-in-all this is a fairly junky movie that’s badly in need of a GPS to steer it in the right direction, but it’s also one that, if you don’t think too much about it (it’s full of holes), you might just find yourself enjoying it.

A Hitchcockian thriller that’ll keep you guessing till the last reel – – or so it intended.

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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole. Loves David Lynch, David Fincher... actually, any filmmaker by the name of David.

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