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Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Aurora Perrineau

Director: Morten Tyldum

My, this journey to a galaxy far, far away does take a long while to get going. At times, it seems designed simply to showcase star Lawrence's figure as often as possible in a remarkable array of outfits (and a swimsuit) presumably picked up from various places aboard the spaceship.

Story? Well, not much. The spacecraft Avalon is transporting 258 crew and 5000 passengers, all in life- and age-preserving pods (can I have one?) to a new existence on the far-off colony Homestead 2. It takes 120 years to get there.

After 30 years, the unthinkable happens: one of the pods malfunctions, disgorging Passenger 1428, engineer Jim Preston (Pratt). Wot - no contingency plan on a multi-billion project? At any rate, soon realising that he's alone and doomed to die in another 50 years or so, Jim finds a companion of sorts in loquacious android bartender Arthur (Sheen, stealing the film).

In another pod, though, he sees Aurora (Lawrence) and is consumed by a desire to know her better. After battling with his conscience for several months (an extending beard lets us know time has passed), he opens the pod. They fall in love (slowly), but there's a reckoning.

The director can extract little new from a spacewalk scene, but the last reel of the film is exciting, as the ship begins to malfunction (due to meteor penetration) and doom looms. 'What are we looking for? gasps Lawrence. 'Something broke,' replies Pratt. 'Something big.'

Despite the action and tension in this part of the film, the film regresses again to give us a really silly ending, in which Andy Garcia makes an entrance as the captain, only to be left without a line. And birds on a spaceship? But then nothing here makes that much sense. Director Tyldum enthralled us all with The Imitation Game, but here he's sadly lost in space.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Dec 2016