US/Germany (dir. Christian Alvart)
Cast: Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Eddie Rouse
Synopsis: A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.
Review: “Pandorum” is, simply put, a shitty montage of far better horror/sci-fi movies which take place on a spaceship (i.e. “Event Horizon”, “Aliens”, etc.). You won’t be able to last 10 – 15 minutes without making a mental comparison of this movie to any other similar feature film. So many elements of this film are borrowed from other horror/sci-fi movies (even non-horror/sci-fi movies like “The Descent” are ripped off) that the movie begins feeling less and less like an original film and more and more like a mixing pot of other films. Combine that will some rapid-fire editing and you get the movie known as “Pandorum”.
Although the plot of the movie seemed great initially, a lot of the backstory becomes both confusing and lame over time. I totally was okay with the whole “waking up with amnesia on a spaceship and then suffering from panic attacks due to extended sleep” story, but when they threw in some pasty looking cannibals which looked like the offspring of those things from “The Descent” and a sub-plot involving a once homicidal crew member, you end up with a rather crappy story. The explanations for why there are cannibal monsters on the ship and why there was once a homicidal maniac on board are plausible ones, but they make you say to yourself, “Really, is that it?”, because when it comes down to it, we’ve all heard/seen this story before in countless other movies. Sure they thrown in the whole pandorum effect thing, but that didn’t really turn out to be anything spectacular – in fact there is only that one sub-plot in which someone suffers from pandorum, otherwise the only real threat in the movie is being eaten by a pasty cannibal/former human that can apparently defy the laws of gravity and run on ceilings.
What really gets to me is how this film was edited. It feels like every scene was thrown into a blender. There are so many quick cuts and fast camera moments that it becomes exceedingly difficult to focus on any one thing for longer than 5 seconds. In fact I tried timing these fast cuts and found that I could barely count to 3 seconds before the camera cut to something else on screen. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to focus on one visual image for more than a lousy 3 seconds I’m not going to bother focusing my attention on what’s going on. My eyes felt so strained after watching this, particularly the fight scenes in which these fast cuts are almost always present. I couldn’t tell who was fighting who, I just kept seeing random bits and pieces of fight sequences, and during scenes in which something gory happened (i.e. someone being eaten alive) the camera just cuts away and ruins the scare value.
There wasn’t really a lot to enjoy in this movie except perhaps the leading man/hero who somehow (despite his amnesia) figures he is capable of fix some sort of dilemma in the ship’s core (he apparently was the ship’s engineer). Ben Foster (the crazy guy from “30 Days of Night” plays the hero role well, and he does so in a natural and believable way. He isn’t some over buff meathead and he isn’t someone who had secret ninja training at one point during the mission, he’s just an average guy dealing as best he can with his situation (avoiding being eaten). His backstory is sad, but lame. I only say it is lame because not a lot of time gets dedicated to explaining it in the sort of detail that I enjoy.
This movie is too much of a rip-off of other movies to make me like it even in the slightest. Even the “hot” tough chick feels like a composite of Linda Hamilton from “The Terminator 2” and Milla Jovovich from “Resident Evil” and she shows her boobs with her low cut tank top way too much for me to like her. She also has that bitchy attitude that somehow all physically fit women in movies are given. Yawn. I don’t recommend you see this movie, go see any other movie I mentioned in this review. This movie is the equivalent of a patchwork quilt, it’s a piece of shit made from far better things.