Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
An original, very honest and quite well made SF film about a giant spaceship in big trouble
on 3 December 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by this little known film. "Pandorum" has a pretty strong and quite original scenario and contains numerous twists and surprises, which are not as obvious as in most SF B-movies.
The story takes place on board of the giant spaceship "Elysium", which was send in XXII century in the first interstellar manned mission in history, towards an Earth-like exoplanet called Tanis, which without any doubt harbors life. The voyage will take 123 years, so most of "Elysium" passengers hibernate during the travel - successive teams of crewmen are awakened and then put to sleep again, each giving two years of their lifetime for the travel. This film tells the story of the fifth shift.
It begins when lieutenant Payton (Denis Quaid) and corporal Bower (Ben Foster) wake up, just to realize that their predecessors are not there, that the ship is damaged, that they can not raise anybody on the interphone and that SOMETHING is roaming the corridors outside. After this rather uncomfortable start they will have to figure out what the heck happened and what to do next, beginning with finding a way to exit the chamber in which they woke up...)))
Those are the first two-three minutes of film and about the rest I will say no more, but let's stress it again - the scenario is pretty solid and certainly original. I watched the DVD in one go, because the story is really interesting and the tension and uncertainty are maintained until the end. The interiors of the "Elysium" are pretty well designed and even if light is scarce during most of the film (a pretty clever idea by the way) we quickly realise that this thing is ENORMOUS. The difficult and perilous trek through the gigantic spaceship reminded me a little of classical Brian Aldiss SF novel "Non-stop" (but just to be clear, here the solution of the mystery is different than in this book).
By looking at the cover you certainly realise that at one moment another human being, a girl named Nadia (Antje Traue, a young German actress in her first Hollywood film), will appear and she is an interesting character. She also holds some clues about what happened to "Elysium".
Now, this film has also some elements which make it rather impossible to rate it five stars. The exact nature of SOMETHING that roams the corridors is one of them. It gives the occasion to some honest action scenes, but frankly, to my personal taste it pulled this film down a little. Also, the idea that in XXII century Earth will have a human population of 24 billion people and therefore will not be able to sustain human life anymore, this is such a cliché...
But those weaker elements notwithstanding I liked this film a lot, much, much more than I expected and I believe it is one of the best and most original SF B-movies of those last years. Recommended wholeheartedly to all SF aficionados!