Sunday, June 24, 2012

Movie Review: “Pandorum”

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
The Cast: 
   I’ve always enjoyed the performances of Dennis Quaid and have always found him to be a very capable to deliver well on most roles I have seen him in. He delivers well here as Lt. Payton, a man that can’t remember who he is...or why he’s in the situation he’s in. Ben Foster (Corporal Bower) is in the same boat (pun intended) and does an excellent job of convincing me that he’s in a seriously desperate situation...and every option isn’t a good one. Cam Gigandet hasn’t done much in his career to separate him from the Hollywood field of actors, but he does deliver a decent performance here as the shady Corporal Gallo...establishing himself as someone to keep an eye on throughout the film.
The Plot: 
   A few of the crew of the 60K passenger sleeper ship, Elysium, awake after a power surge to find themselves alone in the dark...with no recollection of who they are, or how they came to be where they are. As they explore their surroundings, they come across other people...but make the eerie discovery that they are not alone in their environment. There are others...very hostile, and seemingly not human...although they are humanoid. 
   As they venture deeper into the ship, they discover that even amongst the human remnants, there are those that have digressed into feeding of their own...but that’s not the worst of their problems. The ship has entered a critical overload phase that must be aborted...or everyone and every...thing, on the ship will die in a horrible explosion. 
   As they race against time...and against the odds as they must travel into the lair of their inhuman neighbors, more of their story begins to unfold and it seems that suffering from Pandorum ( a psychological condition brought on by extended deep space travel and hypersleep) is a very real condition and the heart of why they are in their current situation. They also discover that they are not who they think they are...and memories of the truth have thrust them all into a very fatal situation.
The Verdict: 
   This film starts off by putting you on edge and is very reluctant to release you from that situation. The problem of not knowing who you are, where you are or why you are there is compounded by the eerie surroundings and constant threat of being discovered by creatures for which you are simply a food source. The fact that much of the movie sets you up for jump-out-of-your-skin moments...plays out perfectly, especially when some of the discoveries made don’t achieve that effect...but instead deliver something much worse in the form of the “creep out.”
   All this is compounded by the fact that you are watching a genuine mystery film...and are being pulled along with nobody qualified to solve the mystery except through happenstance and tragedy. The dark and up close directing gives this film a very personal feel to doubt to increase the uneasy feeling that is thrust upon you from the very beginning. 
   When the ball gets rolling with a good head of steam, it plows through everything resembling a boring film...and delivers great edgy action, with the added twist of using incredible misdirection to conceal the complete truth of who and what everyone and everything is. I would classify this as a science-fiction/ horror film..but it wouldn't be completely accurate if I didn’t add “mystery” to the description. It was certainly a brand of tea I favor...and served up three and a half, out of five, cinnamon sticks in my cup.


  1. No offense, but how did you give this a good review? It was one of the worst sci fi movies I've ever seen.

    1. Tastes differ, Michelle. One person's trash is another's art.

    2. Michelle, I watched it for what it was, and paid no mind to what it was not. I really can't explain any further why I enjoyed this film other than what I have already written about it.

      That said...Ian is absolutely correct, tastes differ.

  2. Humans didn't seem like a food source that's what the algae covering the ship was for. Seemed more of a sport as 60,000 people can't support cannibals for nearly a millennia.

    This movie wasn't good horror imo and felt like it belonged in the survival-adventure genre. Overall, I think this is good social science fiction with the overarching themes of Malthusianism, anarcho-primitivism, and social darwinism.

    1. If I recall correctly, the main group came across another human that trapped them in order to use them later for food. Instead of finding another ally, they were shocked to discover he was another enemy.

      I agree with the rest of your insight...except that perhaps, I just scare easily...:-)