The CGI is very convincing, that we're really on a spaceship
headed to a faraway colony, with everybody on board in hibernation for
120 years. It even sounds
plausible. But despite the
fact that this is some indeterminate time in the technologically-savvy
future, we're still talking about humans here.
And humans make mistakes.
Like building the spacecraft in such a way that a good-sized
asteriod can do some serious damage.
Or maybe that's just bad luck.
In any case, the meteor hit sets off a chain reaction of
computer glitches that result in one of the sleep pods being
accidentally activated. Now
one of the “passengers” wakes up 30 years into the flight, and 90
years too early.
The passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), was a mechanic back
on Earth, one of those guys who liked to get his hands greasy and
could fix anything. But
Earth had become a place where things were simply replaced rather than
repaired, and he felt that starting over on a new planet with a new
life would be a fun adventure. So
he volunteered for the dream exploration voyage.
Except now it's become a living nightmare.
He's completely by himself on this cavernous ship.
He has no one to talk to except pre-programmed machines.
His only social interaction is with a robot bartender, Arthur
(Michael Sheen), who will listen to Jim's plight, but well, empathy
isn't really part of his program.
At first, Jim is so depressed he just drinks and
sleeps a lot. He tries exercising, he tries accessing the ship's
equipment, he tries to break into the command module but cannot, and
he even considers just jumping out into space and putting himself out
of his misery. But then he
happens to spot a woman alseep in one of the 5,000 passenger pods, and
like Prince Charming smitten with the sleeping Cinderella, he becomes
obsessed with awakening her so she can live happily ever after with
him. Or, alternatively
put, misery loves company.
Mr. Jim The Mechanic Man has also figured out a way to
de-activate her pod and wake her up so she can be with him.
He realizes it's a moral dilemma, because it will mess up
whatever plans she'd made to join the colonizers in 90 years, but
finally his loneliness overtakes him and he succumbs to the
temptation. (Eve appears
as a partner for Adam, but Adam has already met the snake.)
Now we switch to an old-fashioned romance, where Jim and Aurora
(Jennifer Lawrence), thrown together by circumstance, begin to develop
an affection for each other, which is exactly what he'd hoped.
From his perspective, things are really looking up, until
Arthur spills the beans to her that Jim awakened her on purpose---it
wasn't an accident. Now
she's (understandably) furious with him, and won't speak to him.
Now we're wondering if the only two people alive on board this
ship are going to spend the rest of their lives estranged from each
other, but suddenly another person arrives on the scene:
a crew member, Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne), whose pod also
accidentally opened because of the increasing glitches in the ship's
computer system. His
awakening was a lot rougher, and resulted in some permanent medical
damage. Now we have a
scenario similar to Sartre's “No Exit,” where the only three
people around are not emotionally available to one another.
A high-tech Hell where things are literally falling apart all
Will our intrepid adventurers actually find a way to survive?
Will they be able to fix the ship?
Will they learn to co-operate with one another?
Does this movie even have a way of ending well?
Even if you aren't into sci-fi, you can appreciate the moral
dilemmas and the sudden change in circumstances for the characters.
It's also an interesting excursion into the increasing
interaction between humans and machines, which of course are
constructed by humans, but can they also be programmed to develop
beyond their original design, thus introducing randomness to the
If you're the only awake passengers on board this
space craft, you'll have a lifetime to figure it out.