Shrewd Re-Edit

Yesterday Nerdwriter posted an intelligent suggestion about how to fix Passengers, which popped on Bluray/streaming/DVD a month ago. Worth absorbing. He also offers a tip of the hat to David Ehrlich’s “Twilight Zone” suggestion, which Glenn Kenny characterized on 12.19.16 as “this movie could have been saved with a plot twist proving that the chick was as much of a shit as the dude.”

Alternate Passengers Plotting“, posted on 12.19.16: “Everyone now knows that Passengers (Sony, 12.21) is saddled with a gnarly ethical issue.

“When engineer Chris Pratt is aroused from hibernation aboard a massive star cruiser in the midst of a 120-year voyage to a planet called Homestead II, he realizes he’s been accidentally revived — the other 4999 passengers will be in hibernation for another 80 years. Faced with a life of absolute loneliness and certain to die before the ship arrives, Pratt decides to wake up journalist Jennifer Lawrence, whom he’s fallen in love with after watching her video profile and reading her articles. On one hand his loneliness problem is solved — on the other he’s a creep and a kind of murderer.

HE commenter “Jeff” has mentioned that in a just-posted Fight In The War Room podcast, Indiewire critic David Ehrlich says that Passengers “would have been better served if Pratt died in Act Three and Lawrence then realized herself that she needs to wake someone up too to avoid a lifetime alone.” Good ending! Another scenario was subsequently suggested by HE commenter “Mr. Sunset Terra Cotta“, to wit: “Even if Pratt doesn’t die in Act Three, Lawrence decides she needs to wake someone else up to have an affair with when Pratt starts wearing thin.” Even better!

  • Marty McKee

    I don’t understand how this makes Pratt a murderer. Lawrence is living out her normal lifespan. She’s just living it on the spaceship, rather than on a planet.

    • gruver1

      WHAT?

      • Marty McKee

        Thanks for clearing that up.

    • I never did see it, but maybe she couldn’t get him to agree with her politics.

  • Brad

    Pratt said this week how shocked he was that it this film was not well reviewed.

    • gruver1

      Like many movie stars, Pratt resides deep with his own membrane, his own bubble.

      • Brad

        agreed

    • Buck Swope

      actually just watched this last night spurred on by the re-editing jeff links to here and the movie was dreadful. easily one of the worst things I’ve seen in a long time (*big studio edition). i like how J-Law strips down naked to get in the G-Suit but leaves her heels on (?!).
      the only interesting part was noticing that the carpet in the bar was the exact pattern of the hotel carpet in The Shining.

  • Eve

    I watched this recently, having read some reviews first, so I knew most of what would happen. I think Pratt’s character is a bit misrepresented in reviews. It’s not like he woke up, waited a few days, then woke her up for a booty call. He was alone for a *year*, with no one but the android bartender to talk to. Humans are social animals, and that kind of isolation would probably drive most of us to either kill ourselves, go insane, or do what he did. He did struggle with the decision, albeit it was a quick struggle given the movie wanted to move on to other things. She did push back and get angry, as well she should have. If you don’t like that she forgave him and didn’t go back into her pod, that’s fine, but I don’t think his character is as terrible as people have made it out.

    That said, the movie wasn’t all that great.

  • Mark

    It should’ve been a fun horror movie. Pratt’s lonely, fast foward to unfreezing J. Law. While nice to look at, she’s revealed to also be flawed and difficult to be around. She becomes suspicious that Pratt, who has withdrawn from her, is going to kill her. At which point, she discovers that Pratt has already unfroze 3 women, lost interest, disposed of them, and started over with another. Then she kills him, and unfreezes someone else.

    • whargarbl

      That’s the best “rewrite” idea I’ve seen.

  • Jeff

    I can totally watch the video above cause I’m at work but this piece is fairly timely and leans a little into the Passengers dustup and certainly stuff at HE like the Sundance Birth of Nation outcry. http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/20/15179232/socially-conscious-criticism

  • JoeS

    I saw this at the very end of its theatrical run (all 5 of us in the theater) after hearing all the horrid reviews. It’s not nearly as bad as the initial reviews had it, but, the last act is a “Hollywood ending” in all the worst ways. I can see what this re-edit is trying to achieve, but I think it would have made Pratt’s character even creepier and far less sympathetic.

    I, too, had the same exact ‘Twilight Zone’ ending in mind as I watched the horrid “Hollywood Ending” play out on screen. It would have at least made for a much more interesting moral dilemma.

  • Gil Padilla

    Just watched it the other day…and what would any of us do? Alone for the rest of your life, a robot for a bartender, who knows what I would do. But he was cheating her out of her life.

  • S Perry

    If the ad was placed at the start I’d have had less trust in this guy too.

    We’ve seen plenty of alternate trailers where small cuts can change the entire aesthetic of a movie but is that what they really wanted here?

    This felt like a YA movie by design or studio panic with the aim of recouping as much as possible from the guy who hangs with dinosaurs and the girl who hangs with media stars.

    It needed JL to have some kind of agency in the final act but if they can’t even get that right they weren’t about to make The Shining in space.