Two astronauts (Dennis Quaid & Ben Foster) awaken from a cryogenic sleep. They have no recollection of who they are or why they are on a spaceship. They learn they are locked in a room and a third astronaut mysteriously died before they awoke. If they could get out of the room they could find out who they are and where their ship is going.
Only one problem, they also find out the ship will blow up in less than two days.
Pandorum has a lot in common with Event Horizon as haunted spaceship movies go. But it has taken that concept and expanded it some with the whole paranoia/amnesia idea. Amnesia is very scary and just imagine if you are also locked in a train, plane or spaceship headed towards oblivion.
Pandorum is a “mind fuck of a movie”. There are scenes where you don’t know where is up is down and down is up. But as Foster’s character explores the ship and tries to stop it’s destruction he runs into blood-thirsty cannibals, temperamental surviving crew members and a mystery that is so warped you wont see it coming. The film’s twist ending had me going, what the fuck?
I have always liked Ben Foster ever since he terrorized Bruce Willis in 2005’s Hostage. Foster was brilliant in that film and has been brilliant in everything he’s done from Six Feet Under to X-Men 3 to 3:10 to Yuma.
In Pandorum, he’s hero yet thanks to Foster he’s complicated, tormented and has a bravado not deserved in this character. Dennis Quaid, who hasn’t been in a sci-fi flick since 2000’s Frequency and maybe five in his whole career, does a great job with amnesia part but seems lost or out of practice when it comes to acting against blue screen. He seems very out of place in scenes where he is alone.
Oh I must also comment on Cam Gigandet, who once more plays the attractive yet psychotic guy he played in The OC, Never Back Down and Twilight. The guy needs to mix it up some. Will he ever get a chance to play a romantic or heroic lead?
Another surprise of the movie was German born actress Antje Traue. She is one of survivors who has keys to the mysteries of the ship. She’s part Alice in Resident Evil and part Lara Croft. She is extraordinary. I love how her character is so subdued but she’s able to bring the viciousness, agility and charisma in the most unlikely of situations.
I liked Pandorum but found it lost me in parts. I think maybe one too many lost crew members were introduced (like why was The Cook important) or maybe the middle needed some reworking.
This was an interesting movie that blurred the genre. But basically the film is Resident Evil in space.
3.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer