Pandorum Delivers Zombie Mutant Banality – In Space!

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If you are going to see Pandorum don't make the mistake I did and enter the theater without a gigantic bong hit. Reefer is the only cure for space monster ennui! Spoilers ahead.

I am not going to toy with your emotions the way I usually do in reviews like these and give you some long political analysis about class or social anxiety or lesbians. The fact is that this movie was lame, both as a movie and as a cultural symptom. It was dimly lit, filled with boring spaceship corridors and even more boring monsters, and lightly sprinkled with a backstory far more interesting than the front story. Watching Pandorum was like playing a metal album backwards to hear the Satanic messages and getting only some voice saying, "I like balloons" over and over again.

A couple of white dudes wake up covered in slime on a generation ship, and can't remember who they are. The power is running down, but luckily one of them (Ben Foster) remembers he's the ship's Chief Of I Know Stuff About Technology. And the other one (Dennis Quaid, looking snacky) remembers he's the Chief Of Guiding You Around The Ship From Your Comm Thingie. So Ben goes hunting for Energy Source Place Across The Ship and Dennis stays back at the ranch staring at a glowing map and says things like "Are you there? I'm going to route you around that pile of stuff."


It's hard for Ben to get to the Energy Source Place because there are all these zombie mutant things dressed like Savage Natives from some old-school white person's vision of the Old West or maybe Africa. You know, they have spears and wear bone necklaces and scream and drool a lot. But because they live in this lightless spaceship they are white and have no noses. Makes sense, right?


So there's your Mystery, kids. Why are these white savages on the ship? What happened to the crew? Will Dennis Quaid ever get another role where he can be both snacky and get some good lines?

As if those mysteries weren't enough, every once in a while there is a completely random moment where we get the fisheye lens thing on Dennis or Ben and you're supposed to wonder IS THIS ALL JUST SPACE MADNESS? (Yes, the word pandorum means space madness, not some kind of weird sexual secretion related to santorum, though there are a lot of santorum-esque secretions in this movie.)


Meanwhile Ben meets a couple of crew members who are inexplicably awake also and have had to descend to shocking levels of bad hygiene to stay alive. The thing that's a bummer is that when you get the multiple, contradictory Big Reveals at the end of the movie you're like, "What? Why didn't they make a movie about all this cool stuff instead of this dumb movie where they run around a lot and get covered in santorum?"

Another bummer is that even though two of the main characters are scientists, one of whom has a fully-functioning lab, we never actually go into the lab to figure things out. Why isn't there a scene where they, I dunno, put tissue from one of the space zombie savage creatures into a DNA sequencer and figure out what the fuck it is? Seriously, people, this movie had way too little science in it and way too much running around boringly. And the monsters? Not even cool. Just Reavers crossed with those guys from I Am Legend and CHUD (the movie, not the blog).


Oh, also? That cool image of the arm and face with all those tubes and shit poking out of them that you've seen on the posters? NOT EVEN IN THE MOVIE.

Basically the only reason to go see Pandorum this weekend is if you've already seen District 9 twice, Jennifer's Body once, and already watched Fringe, FlashForward, Supernatural, and Glee on your DVR. And you've already watched the entire Sarah Connor Chronicles and Middleman DVD box sets twice through. I'm not trying to be harsh here. I'm just trying to give you some options.


Or maybe I've just got . . . SPACE MADNESS!