Corporal Bower (Ben Foster), wakes from an extended
hyper sleep, with no memory of who he is and what his mission is aboard
the passenger sleeper ship Elysium. After discovering his name on his
pod and finding his locker and items, Bower is soon after joined by
Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid), who he wakes from hyper sleep. The two
then try to figure out what has happened aboard while trying to access
the ships bridge with no luck, while also attempting to make contact
with others on the ship with no success. Bower decides to venture out
through the ship to discover what is happening aboard the Elyisum and
where all the crew have gone. With the aid of Lt. Payton, via comm link,
Bower slowly discovers the grisly secrets that the ship holds.
First of all, the meaning behind the word ĎPandorumí,
in the film is described as ĎOrbital Dysfunctional Syndromeí which is a
psychological condition caused by flying in deep space, that feeds into
paranoia and causes the person who gets it to descend into madness,
which fitís the feel for the film quite nicely.
Pandorum is an
interesting piece of sci-fi/horror. Though the plot contains many
elements that we have seen before, it does come out with a few surprises
which give the film that bit of a lift that makes it definitely worth
watching. Ben Fosterís performance the strongest part of the film. Man,
this guy can act! I enjoyed Foster a great deal with this and other
performances heís done in his career (3:10 to Yuma is a standout
and his smaller role in 30 Days of Night shows the kind of talent
this guy has). Foster puts alot into this performance and the film is
all the better for it. If the role was played by another actor without
the dedication that Foster has, the film would have suffered greatly
because of it. Dennis Quaid gives a good performance as always, though
he does spend the majority of the film in a room by himself.
The production design is incredible. As the
characters walk through Elysium, this massive people carrier of a ship,
you can tell that itís been on a very long journey, looking well worn
and put through itís paces. Dark, grimy, wet and cold, itís a long
departure from other cinematic spaceships, like the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The atmosphere that is created is incredible. Itís almost like you could
smell the ship and feel the cold on your skin as the characters walk
itís long corridors. The ship is a character in and of itself, no
question. The filmmakers have done an incredible job of bringing it to
life and making it more than it is.
There are some issues with the film though. The first
half hour feels very rushed, pushing through the first section of the
story as quickly as possible to reveal the films creatures and get the
ball rolling. Rushed and very overcut, with quick cuts going everywhere.
I never really felt like I could follow what was happening. After the
first half hour though, it does slow down to an easier to follow and
enjoyable pace, with less quick cutting in the editing.
The films main villains, which are cannibalistic
creatures that dwell inside the ship feel generic and just not very
interesting, with some looking like theyíre wearing football armour.
Think The Crawlers from The Descent crossed with the biker
warriors from Mad Max 2 and youíll come very close.
The Blu-ray transfer is of a very high calibre, with
no real visual faults to be found. This is the way a sci-fi film should
look. Rich in colour and texture, with beautifully shining control
consoles. Rusting, wet corridors that you could just reach out, touch
and feel the texture and grit of these inner labyrinths of the Elysium.
The green glow from glow sticks that illuminate the skin and highlight
the sweat running a characters face. The audio compliments the visuals
well. Booming power surges in the ship that will rattle your speaker
system. Echoing voices through the bowels of the ship that will pass
around through your surround sound system, making you sink deeper into
your chair. All in all, the video and audio quality are tip top and are
almost faultless in both aspects.
The Blu-ray disc comes with some good extras,
including an informative commentary, featuring the Director; Christian
Alvart and Producer; Jeremy Bolt. A 14 minute behind the scenes
featurette (HD). 16 deleted and alternate scenes and 4 separate stills
Pandorum is an
entertaining piece of sci-fi/horror, that is carried by some good
performances, incredible production design and some very interesting
plot twists. Itís not perfect and you probably will forget it after
seeing it, but it will find an audience and a dedicated fan following
and itís always good to see some more sci-fi flicks on the big screen.