Pandorum -- Film Review

Benjamin Walker
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 13:  Actor Benjamin Walker attends the "Bloody Bloody Jackson" opening night after party at Brasserie 8 1/2 on October 13, 2010 in New York City.

Forget 3-D, Smell-O-Vision or Sensurround. "Pandorum" doesn't need any of those gimmicks to provide its audiences with a fully immersive experience. According to the film, the title refers to a psychosis that occurs after too much deep space hibernation, and it's a condition likely to be suffered by many of those sitting through this claustrophobic, tedious sci-fi thriller that opened Friday without being advance press screenings.

Endlessly derivative of films such as "Alien," "Event Horizon," "Pitch Black" and countless others, the story revolves around two astronauts, Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster), who find themselves rudely awakened from a deep space slumber. On board a dilapidated space vessel clearly on its last legs, they have no memory of what the heck their mission was supposed to be.

But they do know that the power is about to go out, so technician Bower sets out for the ship's generator while Payton stays behind, periodically barking out such questions as "You out there?" and "Do you copy?"

After finding two other surviving astronauts (Cung Le, Antje Traue), Bower and his new friends soon find themselves battling, yup, space mutants, who periodically spring out from the dark corners and recesses of the ship with only the most malevolent of intentions.
Meanwhile, Payton comes into contact with a particularly agitated young officer (Cam Gigandet), with whom he seems to have a mysterious connection.

Eventually, after an endless period of violent encounters barely discernible thanks to the bleak visuals and rapid-fire cutting, plot twists are revealed in an attempt to lend some sci-fi mystery to the proceedings. Audiences are unlikely to be bowled over by the revelations.
A grizzled Quaid and an intense Foster do their best to keep straight faces, but this is not an effort likely to figure prominently on their resumes.

Opened: Friday, Sept. 25 (Overture Films)

Production: Constantin Films, Impact Pictures
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Cung Le, Antje Traue
Director: Christian Alvart
Screenwriter: Travis Milloy
Producers: Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer, Paul W.S. Anderson
Executive producers: Martin Maszkowicz, Dave Morrison, Travis Milloy
Director of photography: Wendigo von Schultzendorff
Editor: Philip Stahl
Production designer: Richard Bridgland
Costume designer: Ivana Milos
Rated R, 108 minutes