By 2174 earth is over populated and war has broken out for the limited resources left on the planet; man begins to head out to space to find new worlds and homes that can support human life. We witness a ship in space receiving a last message stating that they are all of what is left of us. Does this mean they are the remains of humanity? This maybe one of the questions answered in the film Pandorum.
The film opens with Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) awakening suddenly in what looks to be a stasis tube of some sort. Bower has no memory of the events that have taken place aboard the ship, Elysium. Bower works on getting his bearings and eventually awakens Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid). Together they start to try and determine what is happening aboard their ship. The men’s task is hampered by the fact neither has much of a memory and it’s only training and impulse that is keeping them functioning.
After multiple attempts to reach the bridge and unable to reach others the two men must finally make a decision. It is decided that Bower would make his way through the ship to the ship’s reactor. They come to this conclusion as Bower appears to be a ship technician and that is why he was awoken. As Payton begins to guide Bower through the ship using a radio, Bower heads out into the ship.
During his trek Bower, comes across some strange and unknown things. There is dead bodies, a wild woman and even worse, some sort of wild creature. All of these things continue to grow a mystery as Bowers simple trip to repair the reactor becomes a battle for his life. Along the way he finds out what has happened aboard the ship. Bower even runs across a few other people and as he has already found out not all is as it appears and not everyone is concerned about him.
As Bower continues through his life threatening journey things do not go smoothly for Payton. Payton begins to hear noises he begins to get jumpy. He gets a make shift weapon and begins ensuring all entry points are secure. Eventually he comes to find the source of the noise and it’s not what he expects. It’s a man who claims to have come from the bridge of the ship, and, as we find, out this man has a secret.
Pandorum is not just the title to this film but it’s also a disease that can happen in space. It’s brought on by long incarceration in stasis and can cause multiple of problems. Delirium, paranoia and vivid hallucinations are just some of the side effects of pandorum. These are symptoms we begin to see in the bulk of the main characters of the film. We even find out in a previous ship that a captain went insane and launched the entire crew into space basically killing all aboard. However, there are even worse things happening aboard this ship that no one had seen before. The film takes us into a small study of how humanity may evolve as our environmental factors change around us. In this instance there is an internal stimulus that also helps to change things aboard the ship as many sleep in stasis.
Pandorum takes the viewer through a mix of emotions, story and fear. We wonder if things on board the ship are getting as bad as they appear or are Bower and Payton themselves suffering from pandorum. We watch as Payton battles with the Corporal Gallo that has come from the bridge. Gallo holds many secrets and challenges Payton at every turn as the two men talk. It’s Bower that has the worst of it as he continues to work his way through the bowel of the ship to repair the reactor before it kills all on board. Bower’s every step and each turn becomes more and more fearful as he goes, never knowing who he can trust. This brings us all into the paranoia that we find happening aboard the ship. It also makes for a great thrill ride in space that will keep many viewers enthralled till the end.