Director: Christian Alvart, 2009. (R)
Pandorum wants to be a sci-fi chiller in the vein of Alien, but it is not nearly as good. It is set sometime in the late 22nd century. The four title cards at the start set the scene:
1969. Man lands on the moon. World Population = 3.6 billion.The Elysium was shot into space headed for Tanis from Earth. Elysium, of course, references Greek mythology, where it was the final resting place for the preferred heroes of the gods, a place or state of perfect happiness. Tanis was intended to be a similar place for those on board, as they sought to populate this new earth-like planet.
2009. Kepler telescope is launched to search for Earth-like planets. World population = 6.76 billion.
2153. Paleo-17 Space Probe lands on planet Tanis. World population = 24.34 billion. Food and water shortages are commonplace.
2174. The battle for Earth’s limited resources reaches its boiling point. Spacecraft Elysium is launched.
Pandorum offers some suspense along with gory violence. The acting is solid, not stellar. Foster and Quaid raise this to a notch above a straight-to-DVD film, and German Antje Traue, as the female warrior-scientist, offers a hint of Eve to Bower’s Adam. But the ending is surprising, with a twist that is not easily seen.
Copyright ©2011, Martin Baggs