Review: Pandorum

5 10

PLOT: Two crewmen (Dennis Quaid, & Ben Foster) serving aboard a spaceship designed to colonize a far-away planet, awaken from hyper-sleep to find the ship seemingly abandoned. To their horror, they soon discover that they are not alone, and that the ship has been over-run by flesh-eating mutants. Meanwhile, they both begin suffering symptoms of Pandorum, a form of deep-space paranoia.

REVIEW: Zombies in space. I can't believe it's taken Hollywood this long to make such a film.

While it could have been fun, PANDORUM is really your average Paul W.S Anderson production (although he didn't direct, German filmmaker Christian Alvert takes the helm here). Basically, he took EVENT HORIZON, and RESIDENT EVIL, threw in a bit of MORTAL KOMBAT (for some reason, all the mutants/zombies know kung-fu) and voila: PANDORUM.

Now, I don't want it seem like I'm automatically dismissing PANDORUM because of the W.S Anderson connection. True, I'm not much of a fan of his films, but back in the day, I was a huge EVENT HORIZON fan, and when I watched it for the first time in years a few months ago I was amazed to discover that's it's actually held up fairly well. So I went into PANDORUM with an open mind as it had an intriguing cast, with Ben Foster, who I think is a very talented actor (LOVED him on SIX FEET UNDER, and in 3:10 TO YUMA) in the lead. Heck, it even had Dennis Quaid in it, and it's not like he's ever made a bad film, right? Right? Oh wait! I'm forgetting GI JOE, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, THE ALAMO, VANTAGE POINT, etc... (sorry to sound snarky, I actually am a Quaid fan, but he tends to appear in a lot of crap).

The film actually starts off OK, with some nice production design that may be extremely derivative of ALIEN, and countless other sci-fi films, but was still pleasing to the eye. For the first twenty minutes or so, I actually thought I might like PANDORUM, but then we get the kung-fu zombies and the film goes right down the drain.

You see, it turns out Quaid & Foster are not alone on the ship, and that of the thousands of people in hyper-sleep, stored on the ship, a small percentage has been awakened, and have become food for the kung-fu zombies. Only a couple survivors remain, including a sexy Euro-babe (Antje Traue), and a stereotypical Asian dude (Cung Li), who, of course, knows kung-fu and has a couple a badly edited, badly shot, "blink and you'll miss em" fight scenes with the zombies.

Probably the film's only real saving grace is Ben Foster, who tries hard in the lead, but doesn't have a heck of a lot to work with. As for Quaid, he spends pretty much the entire film hanging out in a control room with pretty-boy Cam Gigandet (TWILIGHT fans rejoice!), who's pretty awful as a traumatized crewman, and only exists to provide clumsy exposition, and a stupid last minute plot twist.

Now, it's possible that I'm being to hard on PANDORUM. Maybe my approach is all wrong, as the film does work on an unintentionally funny level. My biggest complaint is that I walked out of the theater with a massive headache due to all the times I slapped myself in the forehead in stunned amazement at the stupidity of it all. But at least I wasn't bored- and that counts for something.

RATING: 5/10

Source: JoBlo.com



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