Pandorum Will Leave You Guessing Until The End

Review of Christian Alvart’s Pandorum With Dennis Quaid and Ben Forster
Pandorum will Leave you Guessing until the End
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So Norman Reedus is not indestructible in the face of zombies or the zombie-like.  He lasts fewer than two minutes and lunch meat for even less.  But the small screen mystique quickly falling prey, Pandorum dishes an intergalactic mystery inside a species ending cataclysm that will keep you guessing and drop your jaw as the story finally unfolds.

Earth population long exploding into the 22nd Century, the planet has reached a boiling point, according to the the 2009 film’s opening introduction.  The Starship Elysium thus embarks for Tanis to begin the first stage of resettlement - with thousands in stasis. 

En route,

the flight crew on duty gets the bad news. “You are all that is left,” word is received of Earth’s complete destruction.

Surreptitiously, Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) emerges from his deep sleep.  Any official greeting or expected amenities are completely absent.  He is alone and affected by partial amnesia.

He is soon joined by Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid) and adding to the absence of a crew, the ship is suffering power surges, and the bridge cannot be accessed. So Bower is off through a ventilation duct to get the reactor back online.

On the way, Bower exhibits a minor attack of Pandorum, which is a psychological infliction brought on by deep space travel and a traumatic event.  The most famous case involved a commander who jettisoned his entire crew into the vast reaches because he thought the mission was cursed. 

Persisting, Bower comes across a fellow crewman strung by his neck and subsequently gets leveled by a female crewman whose pretty good with a blade. Then the real chase is on, and the zombie-like are in hot pursuit.  

Go figure. 

Where did they come from, where is the crew, how come the mission went off the rails

and why is this hot chick hitting Bower with such a menacing stick? No choice for Bower but to settle for the cryptic situation, we meet a longer awakened crewman who siphons runners off into his enclosing and satisfies his hunger on their flight.  Showing plenty of wear, Leland’s dementia positions him as the ship’s unofficial sage - the retelling laying somewhere between fact and folklore.

Staying out of his pot and as more answers slowly come, an ensign Gallo suffering from full on Pandora emerges upon Payton. No major leap is required to assume that the news of a decimated Earth likely served as both his inciting incident and that of the doomed mission.

Regardless, the action proceeds in similar Alien fashion as the race for life awaits at the top (or bottom) of the ship with the reactor. Easy enough to overlook with the biting action and the stiffling mystery, there still seems to be little at stake if only several people are left to reach Tanis and repopulate humanity.  

That’s ok, you still want to know what wrought all this, and Adam and Eve ain’t nothin - especially  when Hollywood has a say. 

Of course, forces are finally joined, and the mystery definitely does not suffer the ambiguity of infinity and beyond. The mission also ends in certainty so jettison any doubt and open wide.

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