Chris Pratt is about to top the box office with “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” a follow-up to the 2014 blockbuster that made him an international movie star. It’s his first movie since December’s “Passengers,” which was eviscerated by critics – it currently holds a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many took particular issue with a controversial plot point in the sci-fi romance.
In the film, Pratt plays Jim, one of 5,000 passengers in suspended animation on a ship taking 120 years to reach its destination. After accidentally awakening 90 years early, Jim endures a year of loneliness before making the decision to wake up a fellow passenger, Aurora, played by Jennifer Lawrence. This decision didn’t set well with some, such as the Guardian, who called it an “interstellar version of social-media stalking” or the New York Daily News, who called it “nearly as cold and creepy as the space it takes us through.”
Asked if the reactions to the film surprised him, Pratt hesitates. “Yeah,” he says. “It did, it really did. I was really caught off guard by that. It was definitely a lesson.”
Pratt goes on to say that he stands by the film. “I personally think the movie is very good, I’m very proud of it,” he says. “I’ll be curious to see if it holds up — the criticism and the movie.”
He adds, “I’m proud of how the movie turned out and it did just fine to make money back for the studio.” “Passengers” grossed almost $300 million worldwide on a budget of $110 million. It also received two Academy Award nominations for original score and production design. He adds, “But the critical score was disproportionately negative compared to the Cinemascore. It got the same rating on Rotten Tomatoes as ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop,’ maybe worse.” (As of this writing, “Paul Blart” sits at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, with “Passengers” at 31%. “Passengers” has a B CinemaScore.)
That said, Pratt doesn’t want to criticize the critics. “I never want to be in a situation where I’m blaming critics for not liking a movie,” he says. “So I’ll just stop talking. It is what it is and I’m proud of it.”