Monday, September 28, 2009



I was able to catch a free advanced showing of Pandorum and I am so relieved that I did not have to pay to see this poorly written movie. There are positive elements in this project like most of the acting, some elements to the story, and the conclusion to the film, but a poor script makes this project hardly hover much less cruise through outer space. This movie featured a new face in cinema with the beautiful Antje Traue who plays a fellow survivor in space named Nadia. She was undoubtedly cast for her sex appeal, but played her role very well alongside the main character Bower played by Ben Foster.

Pandorum is about...well I am not sure what it is about even after seeing it. The concept Pandorum itself is supposed to be the result of too much time in space with symptoms like delirium, but the movie never clearly defines it despite mentioning it frequently (brings me back to the poor writing).

The main character Bower wakes up in a hibernation chamber on a spaceship traveling for a planet that humans can inhabit because planet Earth becomes overpopulated and destroyed by humanity. He wakes up not only to find none of his fellow crew members but some form of crazy looking, I Am Legend-type zombies dwelling on the ship.

Bower discovers the ships reactor needs to be reset before it dies off forever, and he gets help from his superior officer Payton who wakes up just after he does.

Payton is played by Dennis Quaid, and I must voice I believe he has fallen off. Not only is this going to be his second movie in a row with a terrible screenplay (G.I. Joe also), but he provided dreadful performances in both. I was not surprised he wasn't good in this movie but was definitely surprised he was this bad...again (In G.I. Joe he is like Paul Walker). Dennis Quaid is definitely going to have a hard time finding a solid role after these two bombs. Good, he sucks anyway.

So back to the plot(?). Bower ventures to find the reactor core with the help of Nadia and other survivors he encounters without being taken down by these ridiculous excuse of an antagonist zombies. Not only do they look stupid but they carry around these laughable light up staffs...these things are probably the worst part of the movie.

Another terrible thing in Pandorum was the inconsistency in the way the creatures were shown. Sometimes they were lightning fast in their movement, but then later on the humans could out run them. The creatures are said to be able to smell the humans, but then later on the humans are hiding just out of eyesight and the creatures cannot smell them. I honestly cannot tell you what the creatures added to this story because they have nothing to do with the Pandorum concept. Their presence on the ship is never defined to the audience that could make me feel like these monster belong or even fit into the story.

Another gripe about this movie is the setting being hundreds of years in the future and yet the characters still use standard flashlights and glow sticks. They are able to create a spaceship that can transcend galaxies but are unable to tackle a new form of mobile lighting. The producers sure missed that one.

Ben Foster was essentially the only great piece in this project. Though I did not think his character was well written he definitely killed it on his end with his portrayal of Bower. Foster has always been top notch in my book (and I am always harsh on actors) and he once again showed why he fits in this category. His emotions, especially his frustration and fear, popped out of the screen as he is trying to discover what has happened on the spaceship once he wakes up from a form of space travel hibernation.

Overall, the concept of the story is interesting but the script really sucked with poor construction and an undefined alternate universe. Viewers are left to try and define the elements of the story on their own or just wallow in the stupidity that is this film. There were so many moments in Pandorum where I was just shaking my head at the absurdity of the proceedings on the screen. Decent acting from some like Foster, less than that from others like Quaid. I would not recommend this film to anyone wishing to leave the theater satisfied. Maybe worth a Red Box or Netflix rental, but don't waste your time or money at a theater.

Ok, one more thing that was so annoying about this movie. Bower gets this futuristic anti riot gun that sends a sort of sound wave like blast to defend himself against the creatures. All the other survivors tell him that this weapon is ineffective against them despite the fact every time he uses it a forceful blast catapults all in its path backward where as all other survivors are using knives and sharp objects to battle the creatures. Something that helps keep your distance from the creatures with powerful ray blasts or get up close with them and fight hand to hand combat with a dagger...hmmm. Travis Milroy, (the screen writer) you are a moron!


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