Hey Passengers,What's Up With Chris Pratt's Butt?

Photo: The Moviestore Collection Ltd/REX/Shutterstock.
The first time it happened, I jumped.

Having just woken up from a 30-year hibernation, Chris Pratt's desire to shower is understandable. What's less understandable is Passengers' weird decision to keep showing us his butt.

Pratt plays Jim Preston, an engineer who signs up for a 120-year space voyage to start a new life on a planet colony, where his skills are actually needed. Unfortunately for him, something malfunctions and he wakes up 90 years too early. It's a death sentence: He'll never reach his destination. (If you're reading this, I'm assuming you've seen Passengers, and so won't go into the unfortunate details of its problematic plot. You can read that here.)

You may be wondering how all this relates to Chris Pratt's butt. Join the club.

Jim doesn't yet know that he's trapped on the space equivalent of a cruise ship for the rest of his life when he strips down for a shower. So his nudity isn't there meant to convey vulnerability or trauma. It's really just a shot of Chris Pratt's very muscular butt, for the fun of it. I can get behind that once. But twice?

We see the butt again later on in Jim's loneliness sequence. Upon realizing his fate, the character basically goes through the stages of grief. At first he denies it — until a robot confirms the sad fact. He gets angry, sending little cleaning robots scurrying for cover. He tries bargaining, going as far as spending thousands of dollars to make an intergalactic phone call to the company sponsoring the voyage. He also tries to make the best of things. After all, this is a cool, sleek spaceship! There's lots to do here: shopping, swimming, feasting Mexican food served by sombrero-clad robots, boozing around with Arthur, the android bartender, and whatever the modern version of Dance Dance Revolution is called. But eventually, Jim sinks into a deep depression. No amount of space-sushi can hide the fact that he's going to die alone.

Enter the second butt, which appears as Jim shuffles down a corridor naked, clearly unable to bother with pants.

Listen, part of me is really pleased that director Morten Tyldum chose to show us Chris Pratt's butt rather than say, Jennifer Lawrence's. It's nice to see men embrace gratuitous nudity. But the point is that this nudity is, in fact, gratuitous. It contributes absolutely nothing to an already lacking plot. What, exactly, are we supposed to glean from Chris Pratt's perfectly sculpted cheeks?

Perhaps if the movie itself had been less disappointing, the butt cameos could have served as a cheeky aside (I went there, I'm so sorry). But alas, Passengers is bad, and Chris Pratt's butt is extra.