Ehhh…no. Basically, it’s a mish mash of about three different ideas for a sci-fi film that neither mish nor mash together very well. On the one hand it’s a psychological deal. And that’s where it probably could have had the most success. A blank memory on a large, seemingly uninhabited ship would be the perfect place for the mind to screw with itself. A mystery to solve, provided the mystery was good, probably would have been a better go of things. Because on the other hand, Pandorum isThe Space Descent, only nowhere near as well done.
The ship’s cannibals are the source of the majority of the action, but they’re really nothing we haven’t seen before. They’re the extras of Doomsday with slightly better makeup. Pandorum is also a study of the affects of long-term isolation, which also isn’t altogether insightful as presented here. As the film puts it, you’re alone long enough, you go amoral, or apeshit, or amorally apeshit. Big surprise. Lawrence Fishburne said the same thing, only better, in another sci-fi flick last year.
The film is also bloated, trying to fit in all of the ideas shoehorned into the story. Encounters with the cannibals become repetitive and the film frequently resorts to cheap jump scares to try to keep the intensity level high. And other than a bit of exposition, what was the real point of having Eddie House’s Leland in the story? With concepts of morality, the fate of humanity, the mind turning on itself, paranoia, survival, exploration, Noah’s Ark, etc., it’s no wonder that many of them come off as only partially fulfilled. It’s not that big a surprise though, considering that director Christian Alvart and writer Travis Milloy put two distinctive stories into a telepod and got a monster out the other end.