Sep 27, 2010

Pandorum Review

image from Amazon

Premise:
In the future, Earth is overpopulated and under resourced, so they send out a really big number of people to a recently discovered inhabitable planet. Our main character, Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) awakes from hyper-sleep, and proceeds to awaken his superior, Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid). Apparently a symptom of hyper-sleep is having your memory wiped - you don't know where you are, why you're there, and what's going on, but if you used to know it, it does slowly come back to you. But here's a curveball! Like... 90% of the power in the ship is out, and another... 5% or something of the remaining power is fluctuating. I'm making those percentages up, because sometimes there's lights on, sometimes there's no lights... but there's always air in the ship. Payton gets sent through the air-ducts to try to fix the problem but has a panic attack and winds up deeper in the ship than he remembers where it is. And there's space-monsters who look like Native Americans.


Standouts:
The chick was a babe. And the Mexican dude looked like he belonged in Assassin's Creed. But having a Mexican in the future still reduced to "agriculture" is just plain offensive. Hilarious, but offensive!


My Highlights:
Any scene with the baby space creature, as well as chase scenes with doors closing. Also really liked the scene explaining why everything is messed up on the ship.


Overall Rating:
The director was able to really nail the sense that this is a thriller sci-fi, because my heart was pounding quite a bit. Both the delivery of "loss of identity" story and the "creatures are on board with us" story were delivered great, and the idea to combine them was just genius! On paper at least. Most, myself included, will find that it feels overly complex in delivery. Things especially fall apart in the last ten minutes or so. Even though by that point in the movie, you have a very clear, concise notion of how the movie will end, the delivery just leaves you kind of empty. So I give this film a mediocre rating of 2 1/2 *'s out of 5, or 5 *'s out of 10.


When You Should See It:
Unless you're a big sci-fi geek, just pass on this one. The sci-fi geeks, who have sat through all of the awful films the SyFy network has put out and called "movies" will have a great appreciation for this film. But the mainstream just won't get it.

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