Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pandorum (2009)

PANDORUM
DIRECTED BY: CHRISTIAN ALVART
WRITTEN BY: TRAVIS MILLOY
OVERALL SCORE: 5.00/10


After awaking from extended hypersleep, Cpl. Bower (Ben Foster) and Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid) can't remember who they are, and only contain vague memories of their mission and why they are on the ship. When Bower is sent out to investigate why the ship has no power he quickly finds he is not alone, with a strange new species on board hunting what few humans still exist.

When it comes to films like Pandorum it's one of those things that's very hard to review. On the one hand it's a film built entirely towards sci-fi/horror audience, and on the other hand it's barely even mediocre at that. Pandorum is the kind of film you catch on HBO one afternoon while you have a cold because nothing else is on. There's nothing entirely special about it, it's often its own worst enemy, and seems unable to find a good balance between horror, action, and questionable acting. By most accounts this is the first real wide release film for Alvart and Milloy, and I have to say I'm not overly impressed with their efforts.

Actors Quaid and Foster do the best with what they are given, but it's seldom much worth noting, and even then they seem to have phoned it in for a paycheck. Meanwhile we have Antje Traue as Nadia, your generic, unattached, butt kicking girl who provides a counter to Foster's aggressive style, but she's nothing special. Cung Lee and Norman Reedus are here as well, but they're basically little more than fodder. Really though in the acting department, the film is weighed down by Cam Gijandet and Eddie Rouse, both of whose characters I couldn't wait for screen time to be over with. Cam seems to subscribe heavily to the Hayden Christensen school of underacting, while Rouse seems to be trying way too hard to impress, and comes off comically stupid.

Though the acting is never supported by a muddled script, filled with "wait, why can he remember that?" moments that just far exceed coincidence. Alvart is good at bringing the story to life, but doesn't get much out of it, settling for standard horror moments, and never going for the real hits. As well Milloy just doesn't have a knack for dialogue. I often felt underwhelmed during key moments as the characters tried to figure out what had happened, and as such I never really gained a care for what happens to them. The acting scenes are fine, but don't expect any of it to blow your mind. Though of course as is standard with the sci-fi horror genre, it's always building up to an ending... the real unfortunate thing is the ending can be seen from about 10 miles out by just about anyone.

Any film of quality really has to play to its strengths, and unfortunately Pandorum just plays.

1 better thoughts:

TheDeviousOne said...

I had watch this film not far back and I did find something special about it and made an article about it.

If you're interested in reading it:

http://onedeviousbastard.blogspot.com/2011/07/movie-analysis-symbolism-in-pandorum.html

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