Pandorum Movie Review

An appalling script is only one problem with this loud, chaotic sci-fi thriller. It's also directed in such a deliberately confusing way that it's not only impossible to follow the action, but it's impossible to care about the characters.

In the spidery space vessel Elysium, which left Earth in 2174, Bower (Foster) awakens from hiber-sleep with no memory of who he is. The ship's in trouble, and when Lt Payton (Quaid) wakes up, he doesn't remember anything either. So Bower heads into the darkened ship to try to reboot the power supply. But he soon encounters viciously murderous creatures, as well as a few lost and desperate crewmen (Traue and Le). Meanwhile, Payton finds the mercurial Gallo (Gigandet), who seems to know more than admits.

As things develop, we learn that the Elysium's mission is to repopulate a distant planet (because Earth has been worn out), that the ship has been turned into a habitat for killers and survivalists, and that a condition called pandorum, brought on by hibernation, causes paranoid madness. So if these people are mentally unhinged (and they all display symptoms), we know that we can't trust anything we see.

Not that we see much. Besides being swamped in darkness, the action is filmed with too-tight camerawork and frenzied editing that prevents us from seeing clearly. Characters speak in dialog-obscuring whispers and accents, and the set design is so overcomplicated that we're never sure what angle we're looking from. Although we do get the heavy references to both Alien and 2001, the film is actually more reminiscent of producer Anderson's loud/grisly Event Horizon.

Strangely, director Alvart proves to be no more adept at establishing suspense than Anderson. There's not a moment in this film when we're scared, because each jolt comes without any build-up. We're startled by the noise, not frightened. And while the claustrophobia is effective, the plot is so idiotic that our eyes get tired from rolling so much during the clumsy final act. But the most amazing thing about this film is how adeptly it was spoofed, 10 years before it was made, in Galaxy Quest. Maybe there's some sort of time-space anomaly at work here.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Paul WS Anderson, , ,

Comments

Pandorum Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: 15, 2009

Advertisement

More Ben Foster

Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor Shoots Down Disney's Frozen From Box Office Peak [Trailer]

Lone Survivor has triumphed in its first weekend of release to rise to the top of the US and Canadian box office. The war movie,...

"House Of Cards'" Robin Wright And Ben Foster Announce Engagement

Congratulations Robin Wright and Ben Foster! The acting pair recently got engaged, according to E! News, and broke the big news in style at Diane...

'Lone Survivor' Leaves Critics Doubting Its Awards Chances: Review Round-Up

Lone Survivor is director Peter Berg's attempt at turning former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's harrowing tale of survival inside enemy territory into a major motion...

Lone Survivor Movie Review

The title kind of gives away the ending of this harrowing true story, which is worth a look despite its tendency to exaggerate the heroics....

Advertisement

Kill Your Darlings Movie Review

Even though it's slightly too mannered, this true drama takes a clever approach to the beat poets long before they were famous. It's also packed...

Kill Your Darlings - International Trailer And Clips Trailer

Kill Your Darlings is the previously untold story of friendship, jealousy, genius and murder that sparked the literary revolution of the 1940's. Kill Your Darlings...

First Look: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, What Do We Think? [Picture]

The first look at Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears's untitled biopic has rolled out online, showing the young American actor tearing through...

Ben Foster Playing Lance Armstrong Alongside Chris O'Dowd In Cycling Biopic

The remarkable story of the rise and fall of cyclist Lance Armstrong will be translated in a new feature-length biopic directed by Stephen Frears. The...

Advertisement