2016 Certificate: 12

Synopsis

As the corporate starship Avalon ploughs through space with 5,000 hibernating settlers on board, engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) finds himself erroneously awoken early from hypersleep - 90 years before the ship reaches its destination. After months alone, he makes the decision to wake up beautiful fellow passenger Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). They fall for each other... but she is unaware of Jim's morally questionable actions. Stellar performances and dazzling visuals make this the ultimate star-crossed romance.

Director

  • Morten Tyldum

Cast

  • Jennifer Lawrence

  • Chris Pratt

  • Michael Sheen

  • Andy Garcia

  • Laurence Fishburne

  • Kimberly Battista

Review

Love is not in the air but in deep space when a pair of Earth's "best-of" species - Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt - get it together on a spaceship transporting colonists to a new settlement in a far off galaxy.

Pratt is Jim Preston, a buff engineer who - thanks to a malfunction - wakes up early from the deep sleep he and 5,000 volunteer fellow travellers were put into while the good ship Avalon made the 120-year journey to the interplanetary colony Homestead II.

Alone on the ship with just android bar-tender Arthur (Sheen) for company, he soon finds himself craving companionship and makes the slightly creepy decision to wake up fetching hackette Aurora Lane (Lawrence) despite the fact his action condemns her to life on the ship...as it still has another 90 years to travel.

Unsuspecting Aurora is soon warming to Jim when she's not taking a swim in the ship's pool-with-a-space-view or pounding the walkways in aesthetically-pleasing lycra smalls.

He's also smitten and it's not long before the flawlessly-skinned, loved-up couple are cavorting in Jim's bed chamber and amorously sipping cocktails in front of an approving Arthur.

However, Aurora is unaware of Jim's romantic subterfuge and it's only a matter of (the cruelly awarded) time before she figures out that she's been dragged out of unconsciousness to be his oblivious paramour.

If you can get over the idea of a meaningful relationship blossoming from such an act of self-serving cynicism then there's a lot to enjoy - Lawrence and Pratt have an undeniable chemistry and the scenes featuring Arthur have a suavely robotic charm.

And even if you can't, there's no doubting the impressiveness of the production design: the Avalon whirrs through deep space like a giant gyroscope and the interior of the ship is a masterpiece of design - art deco seamlessly colliding with Conran.

Even if the story never really lives up to its premise, it's a smooth ride. Just make sure you stay awake until you reach the end.

Tim Evans