Going into this film, I know one thing and one thing only. Dennis Quaid was in this film. Now, I’ve always found that Dennis Quaid is a gruff and unconvincing so therefore, I wasn’t expecting anything fancy nor complicated beyond killing a couple of hours before my next screening, “Paranormal Activity.” So, imagine my surprise when I’m actually finding this tale about outer space sci-fi, claustrophobic lockers, wet, dark and slimy corridors, and alien/monster mix-up thrown in was pretty good. I had a great time even if the film is cock-full of stereotypes and tends to bore when it came to explaining.
According to the film, “Pandorum” is a sort of space madness, the psychological disorder one tends to suffer when spending some time in the vacuum away from the familiar home of our blue planet. This film sets in the future where Earth has finally runs out a vacant lot to support her ever growing inhabitants. The technology advancement, however, allows the human to locate another planet with the same attribute as Earth. A voyage was then planned, Elysium, a spacecraft that holds Engineers, Scientists, Farmers, and others were sent to inhabit the planet. Elysium was operated by several crew on rotation every two years while everyone else was sent to an extended hyper-sleep. Corporal Bower was a member of the fifth crew scheduled to wake on the eighth year of journey by the fourth crew. However, Bower found he woke up alone, in Elysium that has apparently been deserted. Where’s everybody? What had happened? And the suspense was built from there.
Despite it flaws, and sure “Pandorum” has flaws especially toward the end, the film is quite entertaining. The cuts between two events that happened in the film were often swiftly made, and the film was more an action slash thriller film than a psychological and horror film it promises from its title. The film was littered with stereotypes, loud sound effects, and characters you’d expect in any action video games taking place in an abandoned spacecraft. I was kinda annoyed with it at first, but as the film progresses, and as my mind told me that it won’t expect a good thing, I was able to kick back, relax and enjoy the rest of the film which turn out not as bad as I had thought.
Ben Foster as Corporal Bower is a menace. I mean, he’s always been a menace that initially, it was rather difficult for me to accept his role as a protagonist. However, he did his role really well that I found he is likeable before long and Dennis Quaid is always a Dennis Quaid and I still think that he is unconvincing. The rest of the casts, as I’ve said earlier, is stereotypes. There’s a busty woman with accented English, wearing a tight pants slashed in sexy places that begging for a comparison with Milla Jovovich’s role in Resident Evil. I mean, for me, it was impossible to *not* comparing between the two. Then, there’s a non-English speaking warrior-types who had his spotlight for a duel. And of course, a good for nothing bastard who we would want to see dead, so bad. All of these casts are well executed, but of course, as they were stereotypes, nothing could be drawn further from them.
My rating: ** / **** Drawing ideas from Resident Evil, Alien, Predator, Doomsday, and many others, this film works if you haven’t tired with the idea of some entities chase humans in a cramped dark corridors, tried to surprise you with a ‘boo’ on every dark conner and whenever the camera closes-up the character. Clearly, it offers nothing entirely new to the genre.