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Review: Pandorum

PAUL WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt haul the sets of their 1997 collaboration Event Horizon out of storage and give them a new lick of paint for this deep space thriller directed by Christian Alvart (Antibodies).

Pandorum
Pandorum

PAUL WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt haul the sets of their 1997 collaboration Event Horizon out of storage and give them a new lick of paint for this deep space thriller directed by Christian Alvart (Antibodies).

The nightmare is as much for the two-dimensional characters as for us because this is a headache-inducing game of cat and mouse in a labyrinth of dimly- lit tunnels that pales next to Alien and its sequel.

The film might be tolerable if the action sequences were well orchestrated.

However, everything is cut so furiously even the most simple chase is reduced to an incomprehensible blur.

The orchestral score is deafening as cameras career through pitch black and the grisly fate of the ship’s crew is revealed.

The screenplay clumsily attempts to blur reality and fantasy but the truth about the amnesia-plagued protagonists is blindingly obvious from the start.

The year is 2174 and the battle for earth’s limited resources has reached boiling point.

We launch the spaceship Elysium, with thousands of people bound for the distant planet of Tannis, which can sustain human life.

During the journey, astronaut Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) wakes from hypersleep with no memory of his mission, closely followed by his superior, Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid).

A third member of the team is missing and the airlock is jammed shut, so Payton proposes to guide Bower through the ventilation ducts to unlock the door from the outside.

But something is dreadfully wrong: a race of carnivorous, alien creatures is aboard the vessel, hunting human prey.

This is essentially an hour and a half of running and screaming interspersed with graphic scenes of dismemberment as hunters swarm over the survivors.

Cutting back and forth between Foster’s gung-ho exploits and Quaid’s descent into madness, neither strand holds much interest.

And the showdown is a mess, while an upbeat closing shot could sow the seeds for at least one dreadful straight-to-DVD sequel.

 

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