Wednesday, October 14, 2009

PANDORUM - Watch At Your Own Risk

PANDORUM (sci-fi thriller)
Cast: Ben Foster (pictured), Dennis Quaid, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Eddie Rouse and Norman Reedus
Director: Christian Alvart
Time: 108 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: You know the story about Pandora's Box. Open it at your own risk. This also applies to the movie. Catch it if you want to unleash upon yourself a tide of dread, boredom and deja vu. Most of the movie is filmed in the dark, the action involving mutated cannibals is repetitious, and it reminds you of space horror films like Aliens and Event Horizon.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? It is the 22nd Century and astronauts Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster), serving on a spacecraft named Elysium, are conveying the last of Earth's population to a fresh new planet. They come out of cryo-hibernation suffering from partial amnesia. To worsen matters, they find that the spaceship is malfunctioning and mutant cannibals are running wild.

The main action has Bower taking a perilous journey through dark alleyways of the ship to fire up the reactors while Payton has to contend with a pessimistic madman (Cam Gigandet) in the control room.

HITS & MISSES: Pandorum has eveything we hate about monsters-in-spacecraft stories: sudden irritating jolts on the soundtack, unfocussed and incomprehensible action and a thin, predictable plot. Ben Forster who plays the creepy villain in most films, is for once the heroic protagonist here while Antje Traue is largely wasted as his female kick-ass sidekick and the ship's geneticist Nadia.

The bland direction by Christian Alvart makes us wanna applaud at the end of the movie - out of sheer relief that the torture is all over.

THE LOWDOWN: Take a ride on the Elysium at your own risk.


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