Movie Review Rewind: Pandorum (2009)
Pandorum becomes an above average sci-fi thriller thanks to Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid. The performances take this movie to the next level. The story has its mysteries and its creatures, but the movie manages to escape cheesy and predictable scenarios. And, you can take the situation and the characters more seriously due to the talent of the actors.
Lt. Payton (Quaid) and Cpl. Bower (Foster) wake up on a stranded spaceship and have been in a hyper-sleep chamber for who knows how long. They cannot remember anything about their mission or where they even are right now. Bower sets out to explore the ship and find a way to get it back on track, and search for any more survivors that may be hiding on the ship. Payton uses a radio transmitter to help guide Bower to discover the harsh reality of the spacecraft, and Payton and Bower soon realize they are not alone.
There is a story about the creatures that feed on the ship. And it’s not their fault that they are like that. It’s because of someone else’s actions that they are how they are. But there isn’t a lot of attention put on the creatures. You are told their story, but only in a minute or two. The story really is about the stranded crew members and finding out who they are and what their purpose is, however, the flesh-eating creatures do make it kind of difficult.
But, we have seen sci-fi movies in the past that are about some diseased people or space creatures that eat humans. It’s nothing really new. The mystery of the crew members not having a memory adds more interest, but the performances make Pandorum believable.
Dennis Quaid plays the veteran crew member who has the most experience of anyone. And Quaid is a good actor and he plays Payton with a sense of intelligence and courage. Of course courage because there are creatures after him!
Ben Foster is a younger crew member, but almost on equal ground with Payton because no one has any idea what is going on at first. Foster, who has really grown into a good actor, mainly playing crazy people: 30 Days of Night, 3:10 To Yuma, Alpha Dog. Foster is calmer in this role and he puts a lot of emotion into the character of Bower. He makes you believe what is going on because he appears to believe it so passionately. He can show confidence just as much as he can show fear.
Pandorum is entertaining and thrilling, especially for a sci-fi movie. This genre is tough to take seriously at times, but this one manages not fall into that trap. Quaid and Foster really help with that. And if you are wondering if Pandorum is the name of the ship, you are wrong. I won’t tell you what it is, but it plays a big part in this story and the mysteries that surround the crew and the abandoned ship.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.