Pandorum Review: Infectious

PANDORUM: On General Release From Friday 2nd October 2009

In space, no one can hear you scream. But if what if there was no one to hear you anyway?

Christian Alvart’s space based thriller explores a seemingly abandoned space freighter that was supposed to be on its way to the human race’s last hope, the planet Tanis.

Earth’s natural resources are nearly gone and so 60,000 people aboard the starship Elysium and head off to Tanis. Given the fact that the flight will take over a hundred years we can’t blame the flight crew for taking it in turns to go into the ever popular space movie device, hyper-sleep.

But while the crew are in the land of nod, something goes awry. Bower and Payton, the final members of the flight team, awaken to find the ship is deserted… or is it? Of course it isn’t. You know it, I know it and it’s a just a matter of time before Bower can discover what happened.

But will they succumb to the deep space sickness Pandorum before they can save themselves?

It’s inevitably going to draw comparisons to Event Horizon and Alien whilst channeling Resident Evil because it tows the line of being too familiar, but it does have a few good ideas of its own.

Ben Foster leads the team as Bower, a mechanical engineer who decides to try and escape from the hyper-sleep chamber and discover what happened to the rest of the crew. Bower’s strong, smart and tactically minded; Foster’s a lead who can flip from Bower’s clear headedness to deep paranoia in a second.

He’s accompanied through the ship by another survivor Nadia played by Antje Traue. She’s a fairly standard Lara Croft character with big boobies barely contained in a little vest top.

Bower is backed up from a control station manned by Dennis Quaid’s Payton. Having not done anything of much worth lately (no, G.I. Joe absolutely does not count), it was good to see Quaid flexing his dramatic chops as the serious-minded Payton. Quaid is kept company by Cam Gigandet as Gallo, an impressive turn but all too short an appearance.

The geography of the ship is fantastic; though the sets look expansive they still manage to have a claustrophobic quality with a decor that borders between sci-fi and steam punk; rusted metal and nuclear generators.

Christian Alvart is an impressive director and his skills are well displayed in the film’s climax, when the fear and paranoia has mixed inextricably with survival instinct and utter desperation.

It’s a jam-packed 108 minutes that barely gives you a moment’s reprieve. Fast paced, great action and with a clever twist and though the ending is satisfying but feels like it could have done with a little more explanation.

On the flip side it’ll leave you questioning things for a few days.


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