Saturday, October 10, 2009
I've always loved the concept of a claustrophobic action/thriller set on a spaceship, and Pandorum starts off with the best of intentions. Crew members (or are they?) wake up from hyper-sleep aboard the Elysium, suffering from temporary amnesia. Something's gone wrong with the ship and to top it off, bloodthirsty creatures are everywhere. Oh yeah, extended periods in space can lead to a condition called SPACE MAD-- er, Pandorum.
This is a dark film. Very dark. Is that a boob? No, it's her knee. Where are they!? WHO'S TALKING!? Pandorum isn't bad, you've just seen it before. Bits and pieces of other films like Event Horizon, Sunshine, Resident Evil, Alien, etc. stitched together into an uneven genre quilt. Hard to say more without giving away spoilers, but the performances were pretty solid -- newcomer Antje Traue has a Milla Jovovich vibe working really well for her. It's easy to dismiss this as a mindless sci-fi actioner, but there's a decent attempt at the thriller aspect, some okay twists along the way. The ending is alright. Gotta check out the script for a little compare and contrast.
The film's main selling point, the creatures, was probably the most unnecessary. I think it would've worked just fine with paranoid humans vs. paranoid humans. There were a couple of non-sci-fi scripts that used the temporary amnesia angle -- but ironically enough, I'm blanking on the names...
Even with its flaws, I was sorry to see the low box office returns.