Movie Review: Pandorum (2009)

Synopsis: With Earth overpopulated to the point it will self destruct, the star ship Elysium is launched on a 123-year mission to repopulate the human race on a distant world. During the course of the ship's mission, two crew members are awakened from hypersleep to discover the ship is without power and the crew they were supposed to relieve are missing. Upon further examination, they learn the ship's nuclear reactor is offline and the vessel is under the control of a tribe of human-like cannibals.

Who's in it? The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cung Le, Norman Reedus and Antje Traue.

Review: I came across this film on one of our movie channels a couple days ago and, realizing I have never watched it, decided to record it. My wife and I finally got around to watching it last night and, while it was OK, I can't say it was anything special.

On the surface, the plot has a lot of potential. After all, the movie takes place on board a space ship that is seemingly lost in space and, since Earth no longer exists, they have no hope of rescue. The fact the two crew members have no idea what has happened and must piece together clues while still coping with the effects of being in hypersleep adds to that.

The cannibals that control the ship are also admittedly creepy, especially since they seem to be difficult to stop/kill and have the advantage of knowing the ship. This does lead to a few tense situations as Bower (Foster) tries to make his way to the reactor so he can restore power to the vessel.

The problem with this movie is it is kind of predictable. It isn't too difficult to figure out the true origin of the alien-like creatures that have taken over the ship or that they've probably been in space longer than 8 years. In addition, I figured out who the bad guy was about a quarter way through the movie though, admittedly, I did have to wait until the very end to learn the specific details about his motivations.

As a result of this, the movie does lose something. As I've said in the past, predictably rarely equals scary and there wasn't much about this movie that surprised me. That's probably why I struggled to keep my eyes open while watching it last night.

Final Opinion: It's an OK premise. However, the execution left a lot to be desired and the fact the ship's mysteries weren't overly difficult to figure out kept this movie from being anywhere near as good as it had the potential to be.

My Grade: C


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