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Christian Alvart’s 2009 Pandorum

It’s some hundred or so years in the future and planet earth is dying with little to no hope of survival telefonni cislo. Solution? Put as many people as possible on board one big ass MF’n spaceship and send them into the great unknown where hopefully they can find another planet to eventually kill populate.

Hence the setting for Christian Alvart’s 2009 direction of Pandorum. Two astronauts, Bower (Ben Foster) and Payton (Dennis Quaid,) awaken from “hyper-sleep” (fancy talk for being cryogenically frozen) aboard the space shuttle “Elysium.” Also aboard are about 60,000 other sleeping humans, which were learn are the last remaining of the human race.

The ship appears to have no crew and it’s power source seems to be shutting down (a bad thing since it’s designed to self destruct.) Periodic power surges allow for some of the pod people to awaken (hence our 2 crew mates) disoriented with temporary memory loss. This could potentially pose other problems as we learn of the condition known as Pandorum, a type of psychosis which causes adverse behavior. Behavior such as severe paranoia, vivid hallucinations, and homicidal tendencies that are the result of being subjected to extended periods of deep-space travel and hyper-sleep (especially sucky for our two guy since both have been exposed to… well…… both.)

The two split up (always a bad move) with Payton staying behind in an attempts to locate the bridge while Bower wanders off into the ships bleak bowels in hopes of finding the ships reactor so he can jump start it and abort its self destruction. Finding other crew mates would just be a bonus.

It’s about this time Bowers stumbles across the dead body of a crew mate and some really angry blood thirsty mutants that he manages to evade, thanks largely in part to a couple of human survivors that just happen to show up right in the nick of time. Terrified and struggling to retain coherency, Bowers convinces these two to help him find the ships reactor since it is their only hope of survival.

Jump start the reactor - sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Too bad the ship is full of mutated flesh eating creatures reminiscent of the bad guys in The Descent. These mongoloid creatures are both incredibly fast and incredibly strong and can smell human flesh from a mile away (and they do so like eating human flesh!) How these mutants came to be is anyone’s guess but it would seem they were once human and suffered some DNA alteration. Could that same fate fall upon our survivors? And what does this mean for the humans waking up? And how many have already waken up only to meet a horrible bloody death at the mouths of the unrealized enemy?

Or perhaps their most horrible fate will come from within - Pandorum - while life as we know it comes to a bloody end?

Pandorum is not unique. Many elements are reminiscent of a dozen other sci-fi alien type films that offer a vague story line, underdeveloped characters, and presents more questions than answers (think the Descent, Event Horizon, or even Alone in the Dark.) There are blatant stereotypes (“Don’t hurt her - she’s just a kid!”) zero boob shots, and far to little depth. The only sex scene was between the mutants and it was deleted; bloodshed is evident but no where near as plentiful and I prefer; zero gore is displayed, and the scares are expected.

But it doesn’t mean Pandorum is not entertaining. The couple of twists and turns that are unique keep you guessing until the very end, which oddly seems to hold a mild similarity to Planet of the Apes. So why did I enjoy it so much? Who knows. Maybe my husband spiked my coffee (we watched it Sunday morning) or maybe I was still somewhat hungover from Saturday night; but suffice it to say that I DID enjoy Pandorum. Why not watch it? You might find that you actually enjoyed it as well.