Space madness abounds in Pandorum

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In the not-too-distant future, astronauts Bower (Ben Foster) and Payton (Dennis Quaid) wake up from suspended animation suffering from memory loss (a common side effect, the movie helpfully informs us). The crew members they were supposed to relieve are nowhere to be found and the ship’s reactor is on the blink. Payton gets sent into the ship’s claustrophobic ductwork and dark, steam-spewing passageways to fix the problem, along the way discovering that the cave-dwelling mutants from Neil Marshall’s The Descent have somehow managed to get on board. Throw in a little space madness, some semi-weighty pondering about the future of the human race, and a cheesy twist ending and you’ve got Pandorum. Sure, it’s a mish-mash of ideas from other movies, but if you’re a fan of B-grade sci-fi then you know that’s to be expected. Pandorum at least puts it all together into a moderately engrossing story that’s competently filmed and fairly well acted. It’s nothing special, but there’s been plenty worse this year. ** 1/2

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