A Techie review of ‘Passengers’

 

First off, if you haven’t seen the movie ‘Passengers’ this won’t make any sense to you. Also, SPOILERS! You have been warned!

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

Still here? OK, lets get to reviewen’.

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In the link is a review of the movie’s spaceship Avalon from Space.com: http://www.space.com/35133-how-realistic-ship-from-passengers.html

On a total story and acting level ‘Passengers’ was a pretty good movie. The story was your typical ‘boy unfreezes girl, stupid Android causes boy to lose girl, ship about to blow up causes boy get girl back’. As for the acting, I swear Chris Pratt could read the contents off the back of a cereal box and make it sound entertaining.

BUT, that techie part of my brain, that part that wants to ruin any good Sci-Fi experience,  it just wouldn’t shut up. It just kept saying, ‘What the hell! That doesn’t make sense.” So in light of that, here are some of my nit-pics about ‘Passengers’.

OK, you create a ship that is truly a technological marvel, that is able to transverse millions of miles, but you give it sensors that can only see about as far as the next block?  Come on, a guy with a $500 telescope could see that asteroid belt from three parsecs away. Even at 1/2 light speed that would been enough time to get around something that huge.

And speaking of asteroid belts, asteroids DON’T clump up that close together. In our local  asteroid belt, the closest any two asteroids are from each other is greater than the distance of the earth from the moon! If the asteroids where any closer together the gravity would pull them together to form one asteroid. So Sci-Fi writers, let’s let this one go.

The whole 120 years to Homestead II shtick.First off, how did they find out that this planet was inhabitable in the first place. Say that you sent a probe to check it out. Even if the probe was much faster than the  Avalon and went at about 90% c it would still take about 100 years to get to the planet then relay the information back to earth. These people in the future must be a patient lot. Second, you would think in 120 years there would be technological advances that might make the 120 years in hibernation obsolete? By the time they got to to Homestead II it might already be inhabited by people who left 50 years later but discovered how to move a starship at 95% the speed of light or even break the light barrier completely. They way they throw around hundreds of years in the movie I got the impression that technology had pretty much stagnated.

And that had to be the stupidest computer since the Vic20 (and apologies to any Vic20 fans). It took a hit right through one of it’s main engine computers and didn’t know it?  Plus, the computer acted like nothing unusual that Chris Platt’s character woke 90 years early. Can’t this stupid computer tell time?

Now I did like the fact that they used rotational (or centrifugal force) artificial gravity. But they made one big faux-pas in the movie. When the artificial gravity stopped they showed it as an event that wouldn’t even wake a sleeping passenger. In reality the quickness that the centrifugal force stopped it would have thrown everyone (and everything) against the opposite wall with a huge amount of force. Newton’s First law, look it up (this also applies to people who put untied-down ladders in the back of their pickup truck).

OK, enough nit-pic. Go see the movie. Just shut down your techie brain a bit when viewing it.

Field Mouse

 

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