Monday, March 1, 2010


Pandorum (2009)

Director: Christian Alvart

Writers: Travis Milloy, Christian Alvart

Starring: Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Cam Gigandet, Eddie Rouse, Norman Reedus

"I can't remember any of my life before this flight began."

In the year 2174 the Earth is dying due to overpopulation and war. So earth sends the space ark "Elysium" on a mission to colonize a distant earth type world. Bower (Foster) awakens from hyper sleep with a case of memory loss. Seems it's a side effect of being in hyper sleep for so long a time. Little by little he starts to remember his mission and that he may have a wife somewhere on the ship, asleep like he was. Lt. Payton (Quaid) soon awakens from hyper sleep as well.

Payton stays behind while Bower goes to fix the ship's reactor. Bower's remembered that he's the ship's engineer and that the reactor is going to go boom. Bower meets up with a female scientist (Traue) who likes to use kung fu at the drop of a hat. They run afoul of strange primitive monster like hunters who have taken over a large portion of the ship and like to hunt humans. Meanwhile Payton finds a frightened officer (Gigandet) who might be suffering from a type of space crazies called pandorum.

The trailer to Pandorum made me think of Event Horizon. Which isn't surprising since that film's director Paul WS Anderson produced Pandorum. There's a bit of Alien and Predator in here as well. I'm not a Paul WS Anderson hater, I've enjoyed some of his films. But the biggest problem I've had with most of them is their plainness. Slick looking and filled with action but lacking in anything that gives a good Sci-Fi action film that specialness. Just look at the first three Alien films, Predator or the first two Terminator films. They've all got a special something about them. The biggest problem I've had with his films and Pandorum is that I never gave a damn about any of the characters. Every character introduced was bland then the last. I never once cared about them or if they survived. We're not even given much background on any of them expect for a few lines here and there. Quaid and Foster are good actors who deserve better then what their given to work with here. Reedus of the Boondock Saints film is wasted in a role that's barely five minutes long. The monsters also suffer from being very bland. They seem more goofy then threating. The origins of the creatures is given short shift for more bland kung fu scenes. There's a couple of twists here in the plot. Both of which you'll see coming from a mile away.

It's really surprising to me just how many positive reviews this film got on IMDB. I don't know what they saw in it. I didn't hate the film. If it had been badly made or made me hate it, that would have one thing. It's well made. But it's just so boring that I was checking the time reaming counter constantly. I'll take a bad film over a boring one any day.


The Film Connoisseur said...

Agree! I didnt think so highly of this one, it was just another monster movie, with the crew running from the creatures. Nothing we havent seen a thousand times before already.

I did like the twist in the end, but you have to go through so much bull to get to it!

Good production values, but unfortunately a strong "been there, done that" vibe as well.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I just watched this on blu-ray last weekend and was surprised by how much I enjoyed Pandorum. Surprised, because I had read many negative reviews. Maybe my expectations were so low that I liked it for that reason. A second viewing should remedy that. I too am a fan of all but the third Alien film, and most of the Predator and Terminator films. However, none of those films dealt with the some of the science fictional concepts that Pandorum addresses. I consider myself a fairly jaded genre film fan, yet I did not see the plot twists comming a mile away. I thought the mutated human creatures were quite unique and creepy looking. Overall, I liked Pandorum's blend of sci-fi, action and horror and will recommend it to fans of any of these genres. I disagree with your assement of Pandorum, Professor O'Blivion (great handle), but I do like the way you presented your opinion. Wicked good work!

Professor Brian O'Blivion said...

Thank you guys. Love hearing your different opinions on the film.

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