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Film / Passengers (2016)

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Passengers is a 2016 Science Fiction/romance film directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, The Imitation Game) and written by Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange (2016)).

Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) are two people from Earth traveling aboard the Avalon, a Sleeper Starship on a 120-year trip to Homestead II, a colonized planet in distant outer space. When Jim is awoken prematurely by his malfunctioning sleep pod, he believes he will be alone till he dies. Then he awakens Aurora from her pod to share his fate.

Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne also star.


Passengers contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The date of the setting is not specified, but apart from the development of interstellar travel, the civilization does not seem to have changed that much: the clothing has not changed, the bars still have the same look (but the bartender is an android), the Pulitzer Prize is still awarded, etc.
  • Absurdly Long Wait: Due to their distance from Earth, Jim has to wait for 55 years for a reply to the Distress Call he sent back.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The scene where Aurora rescues Jim from space and revives him is near-identical to something that happened to Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy. Only that time he was the one doing the rescuing, though both times he still ended up nearly dying.
    • Also related to Guardians: "Dance off!"
    • Gus — who is played by Laurence Fishburne—says he "should have taken the pills". Is he thinking of the blue and red ones?
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  • Aerith and Bob: Aurora and Jim. Their names emphasize their class differences; Jim is a humble mechanic, Aurora is a rich and glamorous writer.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has an exclusive theme song titled "Because of You" by JUJU. The Chinese version similarly has "Light Years Away" by GEM.
  • Artificial Outdoors Display: The backside of Jim's living room has a large window monitor for such. In one scene the camera zooms out of a close-up of a forest at sunset until we realize that this was just a projection on the monitor.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: Arcturus is 36.7 light years from Earth. Having traveled 30 years at one half the speed of light, the Avalon shouldn't be anywhere near it.
    • Even assuming it's "30 years" in ship time (meaning 34.64 years for those on Earth), at half the light speed, Avalon would be only 17.32 light years closer to Arcturus.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Rule of Drama wins the day with the Artificial Gravity failures:
      • A rotational gravity centrifuge would continue to function from inertia after a power loss, and gradually lose gravity as the rings stop spinning from friction on the bearings.
      • Aurora nearly drowns in the floating pool water, unable to swim out. A fully submerged person is in a condition close to zero gravity already, so Newton's Third Law would have served her just as well as in a regular pool.
      • If she doesn't swim fast enough, the water keeps wrapping back around her due to surface tension (and no gravity to counteract the surface tension).
    • Jim stands in a tube through which the contents of a malfunctioning fusion reactor are being vented, almost frying his spacesuit, but he doesn't appear to suffer from radiation poisoning - it is possible that the reactor employs a so-called aneutronic reaction, which would not produce energetic neutrons, just as Aurora stands in the control room of said reactor (the shielded window of which is cracking) and she doesn't get radiation poisoning either.
    • Relativistic effects are not brought up at all. A ship travelling at half the speed of light (the speed given in the film) would experience noticeable time dilation, in that a journey that takes 120 years from the perspective of Earth would take only about 104 years on board the ship, or 138½ years on Earth if 120 years is the ship-board duration.
    • Further Rule of Drama comes into play when a metal door (being used by Jim as a makeshift shield to protect himself from the plasma vent) is able to withstand the furnace of a fusion reactor, but then gets instantly vaporized as it floats into what appears to be a large ion thruster.
    • The shot of the Avalon arriving to Homestead II at the end shows it traveling nose-first, when, in fact, it should be stern-first, as the engine should be used to decelerate the ship from relativistic speeds. Of course, doing that would also leave the ship vulnerable to any additional impacts from space rocks, since only the nose has an anti-meteorite shield.
    • The collision with an asteroid the size of the ship itself at half the speed of light would likely kill everyone aboard either from the radiation of it being vaporized or from the force of the impact.
    • The airlock has a verbal prompt to pull the handle to 'release air pressure', which also allows access to the button that opens the door, and yet when the door opens there is still a visible rush of air out of the lock. This apparent depressurisation also fails to suck Gus' body out when Jim is giving him his Burial in Space.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The Avalon passes through one at the start of the film, and it kickstarts the plot when the shields are briefly overwhelmed by one particularly large asteroid.
  • The Atoner: Jim for the last act of the film definitely tried to make up for waking up Aurora, nearly dying and even offering her a chance to enter a makeshift hibernation pod.
  • Auto-Doc: The ship's medical bay has one even named as such, able to diagnose illnesses and apply robotic surgical techniques. It's not perfect, as Gus' vast organ failure from his pod malfunction is beyond its abilities.
  • Bait-and-Switch Accusation: Half-way through the movie, Aurora approaches Jim with a stern voice, asking him "Why did you do it?". He looks perplexed, fearing that his house of cards may have finally collapsed. But then Aurora reveals she only wanted to know why he left Earth.
  • The Bartender: Arthur is a stereotypical bartender, except he is an android. Jim confesses his life problems to him.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jim grows one that would make Chuck Noland proud after one year of being alone on the Avalon.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Multiple shots of Jim watching over Aurora sleeping in her pod.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: All protagonists suffer some serious physical abuse over the course of the movie, but almost nothing of it leaves any visible mark on them aside from some tousled hair and a superficial wound for Aurora.
  • Beeping Computers: All interface and holographic operations on the ship are accompanied by sound effects.
  • The Big Board: The flight deck has a holographic board for exposition.
  • Big "NO!": After Aurora finds out that Jim woke her up, she gives one of these as she smashes a vase.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jim and Aurora save the ship and their love for each other is mended, but they're unable to save Gus's life, and they live out the rest of their lives with only each other for company.
  • Black Guy Dies First: Gus, played by Laurence Fishburne, is the only person to die in the movie.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Averted, probably to avoid gore. One would assume that access to the ship's critical sections is shielded via biometric identification (voice/eye scan, fingerprint etc.) but all it takes to pass security clearance from dying Gus to the heroes is by handing them an encoded wristband along with a code word.
  • Break the Cutie: Jim spends his first year alone on the Avalon going through this.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: After Aurora wakes up, she progressively falls for Jim. Jim is going to give her a ring, when Arthur tells her that Jim woke her up. So, Aurora is furious at Jim and she does not want to talk with him any more. They make up during the climax.
  • Broken Faceplate: Downplayed. The faceplate of Jim's spacesuit gets cracked during his Heroic Sacrifice. It leads to frost building up on the inside.
  • Burial in Space: Gus dies and his body is ejected into space.
  • The Cameo: Andy Garcia as Captain Norris. He appears at the very end of the film, is on screen for no longer than five seconds, and has no lines. In fact, his appearance in the trailer is pretty much the entirety of his role in the film.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Aurora wakes up this way in her bed at one point.
  • Chandler's Law: Gus's awakening forces the plot to move on from Jim and Aurora being stuck on the fallout of Jim waking Aurora up.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The infirmary. Jim mentions it's "just scanners and an Autodoc". They later use the Autodoc to find out what's wrong with Gus, and then Aurora uses it to resuscitate Jim following his Heroic Sacrifice.
      • Gus reads an override code to make the Autodoc give him the true diagnosis of his condition. Aurora would later use that same code to force the doc to use every resuscitation process at the same time on Jim.
    • The spacesuits. Jim uses one early on, and he and Aurora later do the same. They eventually come back when Jim uses one to vent the reactor of the Avalon, and then Aurora uses one to get Jim back into the ship.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Understandably, Aurora does this towards Jim when he tries to talk to her over the intercom during one of her runs. She eventually screams, "I DON'T CARE! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU WANT! I DON'T CARE WHY YOU WOKE ME UP! YOU TOOK MY LIFE!"
  • Continuous Decompression: Jim and Aurora almost get sucked out of the spaceship when they open a chamber which sealed off a hull breach.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Of more than five thousand cryo pods, the one that malfunctions happens to contain a man who's a Gadgeteer Genius, possessing the necessary skills to be able to fix the crippled ship. Another such incident awakens a senior crew member with full authority to access all of the starship systems, which is exactly what the two protagonists need in the third act. Then, as a final contrived touch, after two years of minor malfunctions, the ship goes critical just as they get said authority, forcing them to fix it themselves, rather than waking up the more experienced crew.
  • Conversation Cut: When Jim and Aurora meet for the first time in the main hall, in a misreading of the situation she wonders who is gonna land the ship in a few weeks. Cut to the next scene where they stand on the holodeck and a computer voice reveals to her that they still have 89 years to go.
  • Creator Cameo: Jon Spaihts provides the voice of the Auto-Doc.
  • Cute Machines: The cleaning robots resemble cybermats.
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Your end-of-life transition has already begun."
  • Deflector Shields: The Avalon is equipped with a huge dome-shaped one projected from the bow to protect the ship from head-on collisions with asteroids and other deep space detritus. The film opens with the ship having to divert all power to the shield to survive an Asteroid Thicket, and one particularly large rock manages to overwhelm the shield for a moment, leading to Jim's pod failure as the ship compensates for the reactor control system having been hit by a fragment. Even so it's an impressive piece of tech, considering the Avalon is hurtling through space at half the speed of light.
  • Disney Death: Jim gets into one after doing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Distant Finale: The film ends with the entire crew waking up at the intended time, only to find that Jim and Aurora have redecorated the ship and that the tree has grown huge.
  • Distressed Dude: Jim, when he is drifting in space. Aurora saves him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jim interacts with the floor-washing robots as he would with animals eating the food he drops on the ground. First he chases them away, so they run away. Then he has pity, so he calls them back and throws them some food.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: When Aurora goes to town with Jim in his bed as a retribution for his deed. While deserved, such a beating would not be well-conceived with reversed roles.
  • Dramatic Irony: The viewer is aware from the start what Jim did to Aurora and is waiting for the moment she learns it too.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: Jim drifting motionless through space after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Dress Hits Floor: Played with. We see Aurora shedding her black dress in order to get into the spacesuit.
  • Dressing to Die: Gus wears his uniform when he knows he is about to die.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jim gets so depressed from being alone that he nearly launches himself out the airlock sans spacesuit.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jim uses the bar solely for this purpose as well as to have someone to talk to before waking Aurora up.
  • Empathic Environment: The holographic mural in Jim's suite showcases this. An obvious example is after Aurora finds out that Jim woke her up, as the mural depicts a snowy forest, depicting Aurora's now frosty disposition towards him.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Avalon sports a unique, almost alien design consisting of three curved passenger sections slowly rotating around a central spine that runs the length of the ship. Aside from looking cool, it serves the usual purpose of spinning parts on a spaceship — providing artificial gravity.
  • Exact Words: Jim asks Arthur not to tell Aurora that he woke her deliberately. Arthur is programmed to be a gentlemen and obliges, but Jim makes the mistake of telling him that there are no secrets between him and Aurora, which Arthur takes to mean that he no longer has to keep that particular secret.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The flashy holographic displays early on when the Asteroid Thicket hits. First it shows with animated arrows how the power is being diverted to the front shield and afterwards how the modules are being repaired.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Gus dresses up in his full uniform when he learns the autodoc can't treat him and spends his last moments in the observatory.
  • Failsafe Failure: The ship is more than a bit reminiscent of the "unsinkable" Titanic.
    • The Homestead Company is so confident in its cutting-edge starships that it decided to completely trust the automatic pilot and maintenance systems to fly the ship for the near-totality of its journey, only waking everyone for the final four months. The crew is never to be awoken from stasis for any reason (even emergency situations) and there is no means to put anyone under again if they are revived somehow. All it takes to nearly destroy the entire ship is one unlucky encounter with an asteroid which damages the reactor control computer and leads to a cascade failure in all the ship's systems as the computer tries and fails to compensate for the loss. If Jim hadn't been accidentally awoken from cryosleep, or anyone less competent than him had, the ship wouldn't have even made it halfway to its destination, for want of someone to replace the broken control module.
    • All critical areas of the ship are sealed behind blast doors which can only be opened by someone with security clearance and which absolutely nothing on the ship can breach. The only people that possess this clearance are behind said doors. This unfortunately means Jim cannot reach a single person with any authority after his pod malfunctions.
    • The autodoc is programmed not to perform any major forms of surgery or resuscitation unless there is a licensed doctor present or if given an override command by an officer, ostensibly to prevent less knowledgeable passengers from harmfully misusing the autodoc. If not for the fortunate arrival of Gus, this would have spelled Jim's death.
    • There's only a single autodoc on a ship with a crew of 258 and 5000 passengers. It's the only reason Jim and Aurora don't both go back into hibernation at the end and live out their lives aboard the ship.
  • Fanservice: Aurora frequently goes swimming in her space underwear and Chris Pratt is seen in various states of undress in some scenes as well. The many gorgeous dresses Aurora brought along for the journey, most of which do a great job at emphasizing Jennifer Lawrence's famously well-shaped body, deserve some mention, too.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Justified for Jim. As a passenger in the lowest class, anything he needs besides the most basic of amenities requires him to steal it or, in the case of his new suite, breaking in.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After Aurora wakes up, and looks for a way to go back to sleep, she asks Jim about the infirmary. He replies it's "just scanners and an Autodoc". Guess what the Autodoc can do.
    • Jim floating through space in his spacesuit while attached to the ship by its tether. He later has to use the spacesuits to vent the ship's reactor and save everyone on board the ship.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: Arthur can only reply to robot questions that fit his algorithms, and he knows it.
    Arthur: Jim, these are not robot questions.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Jim is able to jury-rig the facilities aboard the Avalon, mostly to provide himself with creature comforts above his authorized passenger level, but eventually to fix systems that keep breaking down.
  • Girl in a Box: Aurora in her pod. An obvious reference to Snow White in her glass case. Gender flipped in the end, when a dead Jim is put into the Autodoc.
  • Going Critical: The malfunction in the fusion reactor is treated like a malfunction in a nuclear fission reactor. More likely it would just completely shut the thing down rather than go out of control.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: A year of being the only cognizant organism on the ship begins to grate on Jim. He nearly kills himself over it.
  • Good-Times Montage:
    • Jim has a short one, alone, after Arthur tells him to "live a little", then another one with Aurora. It's mostly eating, doing physical activities and watching movies.
    • Jim and Aurora have one later doing different sports and leisure activities on board. May lap over into a Falling-in-Love Montage.
  • Gravity Screw: Twice because of the ship's failing Artificial Gravity. First Aurora almost drowns in the floating pool of water and later she and Jim are sent flying through the air.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: Jim and several robots sing Happy Birthday to Aurora to commemorate the anniversary of her waking up.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Jim during his Good-Times Montage and later doing the same with Aurora, which involves playing basketball, dancing off against holograms, and watching movies. Aurora also goes jogging and swimming, and at the end, Jim joins her in the pool.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jim holds the reactor vent door open long enough for the excess heat to escape the ship and reboot the system, all while taking a face full of heat and being stranded in space with a hole in his suit. Ultimately averted, because Aurora manages not only to retrieve him from space but to revive him from death.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the end, Aurora forgives Jim and chooses to stay awake with him aboard the Avalon instead of using the medical facilities to go back to cryosleep.
  • Important Haircut: Jim shaves off his Time-Passage Beard that he gained after being alone on the ship for a year before he wakes up Aurora from her crypod.
  • Improvised Microgravity Maneuvering: When Jim is hurled out of the vent shaft and floats towards the engine, he throws the metal door at the engine which pushes him the other way to safety.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Gus wakes up and mentions he's not feeling well and has a slight cough. He's coughing up blood the VERY NEXT scene. Turns out he's terminally sick and he's dead a few scenes later.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: Jim and Aurora's helmets are lit up as usual so that the audience can view their faces when they go on space walks.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: The ship is equipped with numerous roomba-bots to clean up after the passengers. Jim even intentionally drops stuff on the floor to get their attention, being so deprived of any sort of interaction as the only person who's awake. The fact that an increasing number of these bots randomly go haywire over time is a sign that the ship's systems are slowly failing.
  • Little "No": Aurora when Jim is in the Autodoc and thinks she can't revive him. Luckily, she then remembers she has Gus's ID.
  • Logic Bomb: Jim drops one on Arthur when Arthur argues that nothing could've possibly gone wrong with his pod.
    Jim: When are the passengers going to be woken up?
    Arthur: About four months from when we reach Homestead II.
    Jim: And how much longer until we reach Homestead II?
    Arthur: Oh, we won't be there for another 90 years.
    Jim: Then how am I talking to you?
    Arthur: [twitches] It's not possible for you to be here.
  • Made of Iron:
    • When the Avalon's damaged fusion reactor is about to blow and starts shooting metal bolts through the room like bullets, one of them hits Aurora in the upper arm, but instead of goring a fist-sized hole through her, the thing penetrates barely a centimeter deep before it simply gets stuck. She then pulls it out, a tiny bit of blood wells from the wound, she wraps some rags around it and continues fresh as a daisy.
    • Shortly before that incident, the Avalon's artificial gravity cuts out briefly, long enough for both Aurora and Jim to float up to a height of about two storeys. When the AG reactivates and smashes them back into the metal floor, neither even gets as much as a bruise.
  • Magical Defibrillator: One of the methods the Auto-Doc uses to revive Jim, along with numerous injections and laser pulses and other things.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: The movie's detractors claim Jim and Aurora's relationship to be this, since he wakes her up, thus, as far as he knows, taking away the life she wanted to have, and in the end she decides to stay with him. It's more complicated than this however. When she learns the truth, she spends a lot of time being incredibly mad at him, to the point she almost kills him once. Later she slowly comes to realize her time with him was possibly the happiest in her life and she previously mentioned they'd most likely never meet otherwise. It still takes them working together to save the ship, with Jim nearly dying to save everyone, along with Gus telling her that Jim's actions, while bad, were out of desperation, rather than malice, for her to forgive him and fall in love with him again.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Megacorp: Homestead, the company that owns the Avalon and the planet it's about to settle, along with a number of similar ships and holdings, is heavily implied to be one. Aurora mentions that colonizing frontier worlds has turned them a profit of five quadrillion dollars even without taking the Avalon's mission into account. Since that's such an unimaginable sum of money, she's so kind to point out that a quadrillion equals one million billions (or 1,000,000,000,000,000$ for those of you who like figures with a lot of zeros). Aurora appears to be a quite wealthy woman herself (since she's making the trip as a Gold Class passenger just to visit the colony for a year before going back to Earth), and judging by how stunned she sounds while relating those numbers, it's safe to assume that a quadrillion dollars in their time is not significantly less than it would be in ours.
  • Mercy Kill: Less of a mercy kill and more of a mercy forced shutdown, but when the Avalon's fusion reactor starts to self-destruct and cause severe malfunctions across the entire ship, Jim goes out of his way to pull out Arthur's CPU, at risk of injury and losing valuable time, to prevent him from destroying himself and his bar when he goes haywire. He's reactivated and fixed once the crisis is averted.
  • Mile-Long Ship: Aurora mentions early on that the Avalon is about three kilometers long. Judging by what we get to see of the ship (including its ridiculously spacious engineering decks), that number doesn't appear to be exaggerated.
  • Minimalist Cast: The only characters are Jim, Aurora, Gus and Arthur (who is an android). The only other actors who appear are hologram instructors, Aurora's friends in a video and the crew of the Avalon in the Distant Finale.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Used to the usual effect in one scene with Aurora and Jim cuddling and talking in bed.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Aurora is a writer, and Jim loves reading her work.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailers make it look as though both Jim and Aurora wake up by accident, around the same time. Actually, Jim is awake on his own for a year, becomes infatuated with Aurora, and wakes her up on purpose.
    • Some of the early trailers also make the film look like it's a suspense thriller with a focus on the ontological mystery aspect of the plot, when actually the film's overall atmosphere is much more human drama and romance, with the reason for the characters waking up early being disclosed relatively early on and being fairly mundane.
  • No Antagonist: The main problem is the ship's malfunction, caused by a meteoroid impact.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • The stairs and loft in the Vienna Suite (which Jim broke into and made his own quarters) have no handrails.
    • The ship has advanced spacesuits which automatically attach tethers to keep users from floating into space and tracking systems to keep an eye on them at all times, and yet an airlock will apparently allow someone not wearing a spacesuit to open the outer door without a word of protest (if there is a safety function which would have stopped Jim had he gone through with it, it's odd that the computer did not object earlier).
    • The manual override of the reactor's vent door only works as long as somebody is there to turn the lever. Makes you wonder what situation this safety measure would make sense for other than for committing a Heroic Sacrifice. It is, however, implied that this isn't how it's supposed to work: odds are the damage to the systems damaged this safety mechanism as well, requiring that someone hold the door open as it were.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Homestead II.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: Arthur is programmed with this Character Tic. When Jim asks him why he always polishes glasses, he lampshades it by pointing out that people would be freaked out by an android bartender that just stood there and did nothing.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Jim when he realizes he's still got ninety years of voyage left on the Avalon before getting to Homestead II, and that there's no way he can go back to sleep.
    • Aurora has the same moment when Jim tells her about the 89 years the journey has left.
    • Jim has one when he realizes that Aurora found out he woke her up. At the same time, Aurora has one when she finds out Jim woke her up.
    • A brief one when Aurora notices a cleaning robot is about to fall right where she, Jim and Gus are standing.
    • Aurora when the gravity fails while she's swimming, trapping her inside a floating bubble. Jim as well when he realises he's floating in the air.
    • Jim and Aurora when the Avalon starts properly malfunctioning.
  • Ominous Crack: The glass wall shielding the control room from the fusion reactor cracks under pressure. Jim manages to open the vent door in time before the glass wall could break.
  • Ontological Mystery: Although the viewers already know, Jim and Aurora must seek the reason why the cryonic pods are malfunctioning. They find it in the end.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The Avalon's out-of-control fusion reactor burns with raging orange plasma to hammer in the fact that yes, things really aren't as they should be. Once it's been brought back under control, the plasma calms down and changes to an icy blue color.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: After Aurora learns that Jim woke her up on purpose, she goes into his room one night and wakes him up with a beating. Then she picks up a crowbar... and Jim deliberately lowers his arms. Ultimately, Aurora doesn't go through with it.
  • Pool Scene: There is a swimming pool on the ship and Aurora uses it often to deliver Fanservice. Jim joins her from time to time.
  • Poverty Food: Not being a gold class passenger confines Jim to a brick of oatmeal for breakfast, this being the one machine on the ship he can't seem to reprogram or disassemble for his own benefit. He still has access to unlimited amounts of liquor and gourmet food he appropriates from the restaurants, seemingly purchasing them on credit with no intention of ever paying it off.
  • Questionable Consent: It's very probable that had she known that Jim woke her up early from cryosleep (thus forcing her to live out her life with him), Aurora would never have had sex with him, making her consent thus very dubious.
  • Race Against the Clock: The climax in which they have to open the fusion reactor's vent door in time before the overheating is going to cause a deadly chain reaction.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gus, while calling out Jim on waking up Aurora, understands exactly what he was going through.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Arguably, this is The Bible in space:
    • First, we have an Adam and Eve parallel, a guy wakes up as a result of an error (sin) alone on a spaceship. He immediately decides he doesn't want to be alone, so he wakes up another passenger Aurora.
    • Next, the ship is largely fleeing from issues on Earth as effectively Noah's ark, although the destruction of Earth is subverted quite a bit, since it is mainly a colony ship.
    • There are 5000 people on this ship, reminding the audience of the feeding of the 5000.
    • A minor detail, but the captain who is brought to fix things, has about 612 errors (representing the Jewish Law, and how the later writings called it a "curse") eventually resulting in his demise.
    • Lastly, there is a heroic sacrifice in order to save the 5000 (this one doesn't result in death, but it very nearly could have), which in turn restores the ship to an ideal state.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Jim and Aurora's relationship understandably falls apart when Aurora learns that Jim woke her up and stranded her with him just so he wouldn't be alone. However, a conveniently timed series of malfunctions that nearly destroys the ship gets them to team up and save it, and ultimately brings them back together.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: The message Jim sends back to Earth costs him $6,012, though this is still implied to be fairly expensive.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Arthur the bartending android. Averted with the other robots.
  • Robotic Reveal: Jim doesn't realize Arthur is an android until Arthur scoots down the bar on wheels to fetch Jim's drink, whereupon Jim leans over the bar and sees Arthur's lower, openly mechanical half. This doubles as one of the many nudges the story gives Jim towards his Darkest Hour.
  • Romanticized Abuse: One of the main criticisms against the film. Jim for all intents and purposes stalks Aurora, and then he wakes her up, telling her that her pod malfunctioned and romancing her under that pretense, which from an ethical standpoint makes their sexual relationship akin to rape—no different than if he had kidnapped her while hiding his true identity and then proceeded to woo her without her knowing he was her kidnapper. She understandably calls his action murder after finding out. However, it never portrays Jim as having been right in doing this, and he himself says this was wrong. Aurora reacts realistically and nearly kills him over this. It's only after they save the ship together that she finally forgives him.
  • Rule of Cool: The scene with Aurora nearly drowning after the gravity failure is completely ridiculous and also violates the laws of inertia and friction, but damn if it doesn't look cool.
  • Rule of Three: Three people wake up on the Avalon before it's discovered that the failures taking place, beginning with Jim's premature awakening, are worse than everyone initially believed.
  • Say My Name: Aurora has a habit of doing this.
    • She yells Gus's name as he passes out, then she and Jim do it later when they run through the ship, searching for him.
    • She yells Arthur's name when she sees him malfunctioning.
    • And finally, when her spacesuit tether goes taut and prevents her from reaching Jim. She has to use his severed tether to reach him.
  • Scenery Censor: When Aurora takes off her dress to get into the spacesuit, the view of her chest is blocked by Jim's body.
  • Scenery Porn: The movie's visuals are nothing short of breathtaking, from the design of the Avalon both inside and out to the beautiful space vistas and of course the ridiculously attractive main cast. Think what you will of the story and its implications, but the film sure delivers some serious eye candy.
  • Secret Keeper: Jim tells Arthur that it's to be a secret that he woke Aurora up. This backfires catastrophically when Aurora tells Arthur that she and Jim "have no secrets from each other." Arthur, remembering his promise to Jim, asks Jim to confirm this, and Jim agrees. Jim's tone would make it clear to a human that he's warning Arthur not to spill the beans, but the android simply takes him at his word.
  • Settling the Frontier: The Starship Avalon is en route to Homestead II, an uninhabited world somewhere in distant space that they are going to colonize.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: The black dress Aurora wears for her first date with Jim.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Jim and Aurora start to make out on the table at the canteen, the camera pans down to show us the roomba-bots cleaning the floor.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Jim and Aurora have this effect on each other when they see each other dressed up for their date. In response to Jim's stunned gasp, Aurora even references the trope almost word for word: "You clean up pretty good yourself."
  • Shout-Out: Some parts of the plot are strongly reminiscent of The Shining. For a while, Jim is trapped on the Avalon and slowly Going Mad From the Isolation, while spending a lot of time in a bar that looks like The Gold Room, while Arthur's outfit seems similar to Lloyd's.
  • Slippery Skid: Jim slips on the alcohol bottle he tossed away earlier.
  • Sleeper Starship: The starship Avalon. The film's premise is essentially, "What happens if someone on a Sleeper Starship wakes up early?"
  • Space Is Cold:
    • Jim goes from roasting to freezing in no time once he's knocked out into space. His suit even starts to frost and crack.
    • When Jim and Aurora discover the compartment with the relatively minor hull breach and they manage to plug the hole, they each lean back against the compartment wall and immediately recoil, because it's freezing (because the compartment has been open to space for two years).
  • Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: The ship has to slingshot around a star for part of its journey, which makes a nice show for Jim and Aurora.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jim, to Aurora, feels like this even before he wakes her up from cryosleep against her will. Though it's mostly because of the predicament of Go Mad from the Isolation, and the character contemplates the morality of the act several times before giving in. Even after he does go through with it, it's clear that he realizes it is a terrible thing to do to her and hates himself for doing it. When she beats the crap out of him and raises an object as though she means to kill him, he doesn't even fight back.
  • Starship Luxurious: The starship Avalon, deliberately and unabashedly, despite being a Sleeper Starship. Part of the deal the passengers make is that, after uprooting their lives to start over on a new planet, they get to enjoy four months of ultra-luxurious space cruising before arriving to begin the hard work of Settling the Frontier. Jim and Aurora have the entire ship to themselves and take full advantage of the accommodations (although Jim, who's not a gold-class passenger like Aurora, has to resort to trespassing, deception and other illegal shenanigans to access the same amenities she paid for).
  • Stealth Pun: When Jim is sleeping, an Aurora Borealis is displayed on the monitor on the wall, thus reversing the role play of Jim watching Aurora sleep.
  • Stellar Name: A sci-fi romance/thriller movie where the girl is named Aurora.
  • Subspace Ansible: Humorously subverted. Jim learns the hard way that interstellar communication doesn't work that way when he sends a message to Earth, only to find out he won't get a response for at least 55 years. But he's still charged an exorbitant sum of money to make use of the service.
  • Sword over Head: Aurora attacks Jim at night wielding a crowbar over her head, ready to deliver a fatal blow. Overwhelmed with guilt, Jim doesn't try to defend himself. The sight of it makes Aurora change her mind, so she throws the crowbar away and runs off.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Aurora turns to this form of coping mechanism when she learns the Awful Truth.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Jim nearly does this to himself after he becomes depressed from being alone. Apparently there's nothing to stop someone going into the airlock without putting on a space suit and opening it.
  • Time-Passage Beard: During his time alone, Jim's beard and hair get increasingly longer and unkempt to show both the passage of time and his deteriorating mental state. He decides to shave before waking up Aurora.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The only pieces of clothing Aurora is seen wearing more than once are her swimsuit and her jogging gear. Most other scenes have her wearing a varied collection of beautiful dresses for her various outings with Jim.
  • Wham Line:
    • For Aurora when Arthur obliviously spills the beans about Jim waking her up.
    • "Who the hell planted a tree on my ship?" It's not so much the context of the line but rather that it's a new person who said it, which opens up the plot for both Jim and Aurora.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gus's reaction to Jim waking up Aurora is a subdued version of this. The film presents Jim's action as understandable given how desperate spending a year alone made him, but also a horrible thing to do.
    Gus: Still, damn.
  • Workplace-Acquired Abilities: Jim's technical expertise as a mechanical engineer comes in handy during the climax when they have to prevent the fusion reactor from overheating.
  • You Had Us Worried There: Played with. When Jim is hurled out of the vent shaft, communication to Aurora breaks down. She is deeply worried and asks if he is still there but no-one answers. We then see Jim alive floating in space, but it takes another minute until he decides to re-establish communication to tell Aurora that he's alright.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Exaggerated. By the time Gus finds out he's dying, he has mere hours left.


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