Therapist Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) is assigned by her mentor Perry (Andre Braugher) to counsel five surviving passengers after a horrific plane crash. Claire starts the counseling process, but Eric (Patrick Wilson), one of the passengers, insists he is fine. He makes it clear however, he is interested in a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, there is a discrepancy in the way the survivors recollect the accident and the airline's official statement. Claire suspects a conspiracy by the airline as the survivors mysteriously disappear one by one.
Review by Louise Keller:
The plane isn't the only thing that crashes in this ambitiously conceived mystery drama with conspiracy theories, a central romance and supernatural elements. Despite an engaging central performance by the ever-photogenic Anne Hathaway, you know there is something seriously wrong with a film if the resolution is more satisfying than the journey. Ronnie Christensen's screenplay is problematic from the very start, when events, situations and reactions lack credibility. We engage now and then with the journey of Hathaway's novice therapist Claire, but as the story progresses, the weight of inconsistencies mount up like a ton of excess baggage.
When we first meet Patrick Wilson's plane crash survivor Eric, he is wandering aimlessly near the plane wreck expressing how great he feels. He is one of the five survivors that Claire visits as part of the initial counselling. Eric sits naked on the side of his bed, but it is Claire who feels naked as he openly flirts with her. Nothing about this therapist / patient relationship feels real. He insists she visits him at home, gives her his house keys, takes her on joy rides on a motorbike and speed boat. And that's just the beginning. Needless to say, they end up in bed together, but this seems to be the least of Claire's problems, as shadowy men disappear into the night, as do the other survivors one by one, when their version of the events differs from that of the airline.
There's a sentimental subplot involving Claire's estranged sister Emma (Stacy Grant) and another involving Clea DuVall's survivor Shannon who has her own back story. Dianne Wiest's annoying neighbour Toni is a real distraction (what is Wiest doing in this film?) and Claire's relationship with her mentor Perry (Andre Braugher) does not compute. The violent altercation between Claire and the airline's Arkin (David Morse) feels as though it belongs in another film. When all is revealed in the final reel, we understand what the filmmakers were trying to achieve, but like the plane, the film goes belly up.
Published June 24, 2009
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PASSENGERS: DVD (M)
CAST: Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Andre Braugher, Dianne Wiest, David Morse, William B. Davis, Ryan Robbins, Clea DuVall
PRODUCER: Joseph Drake, Nathan Kahane, Julie Lynn, Judd Payne, Matthew Rhodes, Keri Selig
DIRECTOR: Rodrigo García
SCRIPT: Ronnie Christensen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Igor Jadue-Lillo
EDITOR: Thom Noble
MUSIC: Ed Shearmur
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Brisbin
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 19, 2009
PRESENTATION: 16 : 9
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: June 24, 2009