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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

‘Pandorum’ fails with tired sci-fi plot

A science fiction thriller where the fate of our humanity is at stake and there’s one chance left for us to do something about is not foreign to filmgoers. If anything, it’s been overdone and there’s no better proof of this unoriginality than “Pandorum.”

The year is 2174. There are now over 20 billion people living on Earth. Because of this extreme overpopulation, food and water shortages are a commonplace occurrence and the fight for these resources has reached the tipping point. The world we know is dying. The properly named space ship Elysium has left Earth and is on its way to Tannis, a planet that harbors Earth-like features and is able to give the former citizens of Earth a fresh start. Not everything has gone to plan, though, as crew members Payton (Quaid) and Bower (Foster) awaken from their hyper sleep with no memory of their past lives and strange creatures running around the ship. In order the save the mission and the lives of the 60,000 passengers waiting to start a new life, Bower and Payton must piece together what has gone wrong in order to fix it.

I like Quaid, albeit in a very general way, but it’s safe to say that I think he’s a fine actor. That is not the case here, though. Here he’s on screen for maybe 1/3 of the movie and gives a performance as if he’s waiting to be paid in cash after every scene. This is actually a genuine shame since anyone who’s seen “Far From Heaven” knows he is capable of much more. Foster, who I’ve been a fan of since he was on Disney Channel’s 1996 sitcom “Flash Forward” is easily the strongest player in the bunch, but that still isn’t saying much. I don’t necessarily think this is Foster’s fault, since being an up and comer in Hollywood means you’ll take nearly any role you can get, but even Foster should’ve exercised some discretion.

The film’s main flaw is its script, which borrows so heavily from Danny Boyle’s 2007 film “Sunshine” that you could say it almost borders on plagiarism. Each character is but merely an archetype for the typical sci-fi genre and the development of these characters is truly nowhere to be found. Of the twists found at the end, only one has a decent payoff that I actually didn’t see coming, whereas the other is a twist so overused that I actually groaned when it happened. The last ten minutes of “Pandorum” are really the only ones worth watching, not only because this is when the better of the two twists happens, but also because it’s when you realize the movie is nearly over.

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The “aliens” in the film, if you can even call them that, are another down side to the film. First, the explanation for them is just ridiculous and second, the film would have worked so much better had they just excised them from the first place and focused on the trials and tribulations of deep-space flight. The back story concerning the fate of the Earth and the new planet found that could support is actually far more interested than anything that happens aboard the space ship.

Even without the poorly written script, “Pandorum” would still be a chore to sit through. The film is just put together. While stealing sci-fi conventions from other more well known films, “Pandorum” fails to add any of it’s own spice and charm for most of the film. What we’re left with is cold and uninspired.

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