When I saw the trailer way back when it was released, I added this film to my watch list of 2016. What could go wrong with a film containing Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Those were the only people, we see in the trailer, that are on the ship.
When the release came closer and closer, and the posters arrived in the cinema it became more and more a question of what goes wrong as the poster just says they wake up but why?
Cause this was a question for me to find out I went to see it in the week of release as I had some time off during the holidays
The premise is that there are 5000 passengers and 200 odd crew on the ship and that they are in hibernation until 4 months before arriving on Homestead II, a colony of Earth.
As the trailer told me, someone wakes up earlier than foreseen. This is the character played by Chris Pratt, Jim Preston. He wakes become of an error during the crossing of an astroid belt. As he is the only one to wake up and discover that it is way too early, he tries to get to the crew but their pods are behind lock and key. He sends a message to Earth to inform them of the error that happened but to send the message and getting a reply would take years.
In the beginning of having the reign of the ship he just has fun, explores all the features that are available. Eat in the best restaurants, sit at the bar and talk to the bar attendant (android Arthur played by Michael Sheen). But being alone starts to weigh on him and he’s getting depressed. He doesn’t take care of himself anymore, has a long beard, is a slob. As he has a background as a mechanical engineer, the moment he finds the manual to the sleeping pods, he tries to go back to sleep, but this doesn’t work since he misses the drugs that are needed for this. One day he discovers a space walk room and almost commits suicide, but he decides last minute not to pull the lever and be blasted into space.
This was part one of the movie, and one style – alone in space.
When leaving the space walk room, he trips over an empty bottle he dropped earlier on and sees in one of the pods Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). He is torn with the thoughts of waking her up. He talks to Arthur about this and how this weighs on him. He has been alone for over a year now and the only person to talk to is Arthur.
He does wake her up (like we see in the trailer) and they get to know each other and even fall for each other. It does take some time before he dares to ask her out. But they live blissfully together on the ship. After some time you see him going through the cargo bay and he finds some metals and makes a ring for Aurora. He plans to propose to her and on the night he is going to pop the question, when in the bar they say while Arthur can hear it that there are no secrets between them. As Arthur is an android, he takes this literal and he asks her what she thinks of being woken up by Jim.
This starts a fight between Jim and Aurora, kind of logical to me, because he took away her chances to live on Homestead II. In an effort to get to reconcile, Jim plants a tree in the middle of the main hall.
This was part two of the movie – another style – romance.
After this, we hear someone on the intercom yell ” who planted a tree on my ship. This is the Chief Deck officer who has been awoken because things keep on going wrong on the ship.
This starts the third and last part of the movie, the disaster movie.
When doing a diagnostic of the ship, Gus ( chief deck officer played by Laurence Fishburn) discovers that there are multiple issues on the ship. And he tries to find out which was the first one because this is the trigger for all the other errors. As they do find point zero, his health is deteriorating and before they even start to solve the issue he dies.
This means Jim and Aurora need to solve the problem, the reactor core is overheating due to a hit by the asteroid, two years earlier. They try to fix it from the inside of the ship but the release vent is stuck and needs to be opened from the outside. Jim self-sacrifices himself to open it and using the “space walk” room he goes towards the vent. He hopes to open it and then get away from it far enough to be safe of the heat that would be released.
The vent doesn’t stay open, so he has to stay there, blasted by the heat, only protected by a small shield. After the reactor has been vented, he shoots loose from his place and he is still alive. But his tether is broken, he is floating in space. All this makes Aurora realize that even though he woke her up and took away her chances of survival, she does love him and she goes out to save him. She gets to him but it might have been a second too late.
As we roll back into the romance as Aurora tries to save him by putting him in the automatic doctor system. After having a ton of surgeries he survives.
Jim discovers he can put someone back into suspended animation using the automatic doctor system and offers Aurora to be put into it and sleep until the spaceship is about to land.
She doesn’t answer but when we flash forward to the moment the crew of the ship wakes up. We see the ship planted full with trees and other vegetation. Which makes me feel that they made the ship a nice place to live on together.
The only wonder of mine is, did they have kids and are they running around on the ship?
I liked the film a lot and I’ve heard people say that they didn’t since it has multiple types (see the different parts defined above) and that they could have made a film of each style.
The acting, even though there are only four actors on screen that have real screentime, was fantastic. You do see Jim decline during the year being alone. Aurora does seem more one dimensional but it gets better with time. She has a sort of Stockholm syndrome because the only other person awake is Jim. Martin Sheen is a fantastic android, no real emotion is shown.
For me it was a perfect mix between a romcom and a science fiction movie