Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm into my Easter holiday now, this is my third day of leave. Only another three official days of leave left after today. I've spent a couple of days doing stuff for the kids as my son has had a friend staying over. I have managed to watch a film on Netflix on Sunday though - it was a film called Pandorum. The reviews on Metacritic were almost universally bad however it's one of those films that seems to split critics from fans. The fan rating on Metacritic was good. Critics claiming it is boring and derivative of other films, such as Alien. Well, I think there's some truth in it but I didn't think it was boring.
The starting sequence sees the population of Earth increasing and natural resources wasting and global wars developing to capture the resources. An Earth-like planet was discovered and a spaceship built to transport human life to colonise it.
The story begins with a man in a deep space chamber/pod thing being woken up. He's disoriented and can't remember things like what the mission is, what his name is etc. The power on board is flaky, the lights keeps going out or flickering. After a shave and a wash he's looking more human. Another pod lights up and a colleague is awakened in the same manner. The two of them start trying to work out why they have been woken up, what's happened to the rest of the crew, where they are supposed to be and why that seems not to be where they. They can't get into the bridge of the ship. So the younger man climbs into a vent to try and explore the ship.
There was an experiment on board the ship that has bred a super strong race of mutant beings. These have become hunters and our guy meets a terrified member of the crew strung up as bait by these mutants. He is freed and is questioned but doesn't know much other than simply to run away from the mutants.
Our young crew member then runs into two humans, an Asian guy and a young woman who have been surviving onboard the ship and learning to evade the mutants. They are both enlisted to help the crew member.
Whilst this is happening the older crew member meets another member of the crew, or rather pulls him out of a duct full of cables, like giving birth. It seems that this crew member knows a bit more and talks of a condition called Pandorum that affects the mind of those who live in space for prolonged periods.
The team of three head to the reactor core, which they eventually do despite  meeting a non-friendly human along the way. They activate the reactor manually. This sorts out a nest of the mutants but some still remain.
The older crew member and the crew member pulled out of the cables start to have conflicting views, the older one eventually locking the other into a pod. It turns out that the older man was suffering from Pandorum and the other crew member was a mental aberration.
Spoiler alert: the interesting bit is that it turns out the ship isn't in deep space. This explains a sequence when they open shutters to reveal only blackness - no stars at all. It is actually under water on Tanis, the Earth-like planet the ship was headed for. The team of three is reduced to two but they manage to survive the mutant hunters to slip into a deep space pod thing that is ejected from the ship. It fills with water but eventually surfaces and opens, amongst lots of other pods that contain the remains of humanity.
The last shot of the film is a shot of the planet with a population figure of just over a thousand humans.
The stars in the cast are Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster and Antje Traue. Antje is probably my highlight, not being known to me before but she is beautiful. She would make a good Selene in a future Underworld film.

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