Pandorum (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/10/2009

One out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Disappointing, poorly directed and frequently tedious sci-fi thriller in which it's almost impossible to tell what's going on and by the time you find out, you don't care.

What's it all about?
Directed by Christian Alvart and tellingly produced by Paul WS Anderson (whose Event Horizon this closely resembles, in more ways than one), Pandorum is set aboard the spaceship Elysium, which left the dangerously overpopulated Earth in 2174, heading for a new planet. The film opens with Elysium crew members Bower (Ben Foster) and Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) emerging from an extended period of hiber-sleep with no memory of who they are.

When Bower heads into the darkened ship, hoping to reboot the ship's power supply, he encounters vicious creatures known as Hunters as well as another crew member (Antje Traue) who seems to have become a feral warrior. Meanwhile, Payton discovers yet another crew member (Cam Gigandet as Gallo), but is he everything he seems?

The Bad
There are so many things wrong with Pandorum (the title refers to a sort of Space Madness) that it's hard to know where to begin. Its biggest problem is the inexplicable decision to shoot large chunks of the action in near total darkness, so that it's almost impossible to tell what's going on, especially during the confusingly edited fight scenes.

In addition, it's impossible to care for either of the lead characters; the amnesia set-up means we're already at a disadvantage in terms of knowing who they are, but neither of them seem like particularly likeable people anyway. Even Quaid, who usually brings an air of gruff likeability to everything he does, struggles to breathe any life into Payton, while Foster's brand of fired-up intensity works much better in support than it does as the lead.

The Worst
The film starts well, with a potentially interesting premise, but it then goes rapidly downhill and the next hour is so chaotic and confusing (there are several minutes where it is literally impossible to see what's happening) that by the time the multiple twists start piling up, you've stopped caring.

Worth seeing?
In short, Pandorum squanders its excellent premise and the result is a disappointing, barely coherent mess. Avoid.

Film Trailer

Pandorum (15)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 03:22

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