Produced by Paul Anderson of "Resident Evil" and "Event Horizon" fame, "Pandorum" is a moderately budgeted sci-fi horror film that, like "Event", borrows liberally from the horror films of its day. A little bit "Eden Log," a little bit "Descent," and a whole lot of "Alien," "Pandorum" ultimately succeeds as a watchable sci-fi/horror/mystery. It's one downside is that, like a lot of Anderson stuff, it feels a bit video game-y. But then that might gain it more of a following.
Set in a far-off future where the Earth's natural resources have been all but consumed, the film is set on board a ship seemingly heading toward an inhabitable planet. Two men regain consciousness from an uber-long hypersleep. Borrowing from "Eden Log," the men have amnesia because of their long sleep, so they have no idea where they are or what they are supposed to do. A problem with the ship's nuclear power system creates the plot device necessary for one of the guys (Ben Foster) to head out into the depths of the ship, while the other (Randy Quaid) stays behind in the control room.
Like "Eden Log," the film's hero goes on a mission, and slowly gains an understanding of who he is and of his overall predicament: He's on a giant ship with thousands of other people, sent from a dying Earth to find life on the only other inhabitable planet in the universe. It's a long journey in space -- hence, the need for hibernation. There's also a problem some space travelers can run into -- a mania called "Pandorum," that makes them do sick and unspeakable things.
The journey on the spacecraft has been so long, in fact, that life has started to morph on it, bringing into being "Descent"-like creatures that feed off of humans and survivors who look like they emerged from a "Mad Max" movie.
With a pretty interesting double twist ending and tons of videogame-like shocks and scares, "Pandorum" is ultimately a very decent modern horror film for the "Resident Evil" age. Its "Resident Evil"-like storyline clearly appealed to the movie's producer, Paul Anderson, who also happened to produce all the "Resident Evil" films, and direct the first.
I liked the film, and the ending was refreshing to see. But the direction, primarily the editing at times during the action scenes felt choppy. The female character reminded me of Milla in Resident Evil (emotionless), and it would have been cool to see a more flesh and blood type female persona a la The Descent. Overall this was an interesting, entertaining Sci-Fi horror film, definitely something most fans of the genre(s) will like who enjoyed Alien(s), Event Horizon, and Resident Evil. It was smarter, more interesting and more mature than the Resident Evil films which are in serious need of a strong re-mastering to make them great like RE4 (the dynamic and infectious game) IMO. A B- to a B I'd give Pandorum. The creatures could have looked a little less Descent-esque too; overall a cool film worth recommending.
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5/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee
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