Pandorum: a psychological condition where astronauts start to go crazy.
Set in the far future, Pandorum tells the story of Lt. Payton and Corporal Bower, two astronauts who wake with temporary amnesia. After finding their spacecraft malfunctioning, Lt. Payton sends Bower into the ship to find both the reactor and the bridge. While Bower is out, Payton thinks about the term "pandorum," as he encounters other crew members waking from their restful state, and human passengers who have mutated into super beings. With each passing conversation, more and more of there past comes to light, providing limited answers to a largely curious Bower. And thanks to a mysterious twist, the expected proves untrue, leaving you surprised and pleased with the eventual outcome.
Linking the producers of this movie to those of Resident Evil did not lend much credibility; nor did it reveal much about the film itself. Luckily, the movie was well casted and played as Ben Foster carries the film from start to finish, proving his talent and upstaging the more noticeable Dennis Quaid in the process. Quaid is often be a hit or miss when it comes to his movies; thankfully, this was a hit for the recently struggling actor as his slow decent into madness is both believable and intoxicating.
Writing can either make or break a movie, and the dialogue for this one is about standard for a sci-fi film. A lot of the movie is based around the "Who am I? What am I? Where are we?" styled questions, but over time, we get a little more of the back story to our lead characters. It felt like a lot of the movie could have been finalized more precisely, but storylines that could have been plot holes were addressed in quick answers that were acceptable by my account.
The problem with most space movies is the clichés that often plague both the story and its main components. After so many movies, events that seemed original at first are now as generic and bland as one could possibly imagine. We see the reactor is about to hit the critical meltdown point, the hero saves the day with only seconds to spare, the earth has been destroyed thanks to all of mankind. These are just a few of those dreaded moments that are featured within the context of Pandorum. However, I must credit the writers for dealing with each independently, attempting to freshen up the age-old tale.
One drawback of the film had to do with the director's persistence in scaring us. Instead of letting the film serve us the scare tactic, director Christian Alvart opted to jerk the camera around in hopes of catching us off guard. It rarely worked, and when it did, the effect only lasted momentarily as we became overwhelmed with the constant back and forth motion of the screen. The film had scary moments, but many were lost as a result of this creative "˜style,' and it is a real shame.
Overall, the movie was a fun experience that should have been had back in August. There are movies that make you want your time back and those that you know you will purchase on DVD; Pandorum is neither. Instead, this film creates its own category; one that is worth a one-time view, but will rarely deserves a second look. It is theater worthy, but a cool Saturday night on the couch could also prove appetizing for such a thriller