Pandemic – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 42% (Critics) / 29% (Audience)
Directed By: John Suits
Written By: Dustin T. Benson
Starring: Rachel Nichols, Missi Pyle, Alfie Allen and Mekhi Phifer
Studio: Parkside Pictures
Synopsis: Pandemic is set in the near future, where a virus of epic proportions has overtaken the planet. There are more infected than uninfected, and humanity is losing its grip on survival. Its only hope is finding a cure and keeping the infected contained. Lauren (Rachel Nichols) is a doctor, who, after the fall of New York, comes to Los Angeles to lead a team to hunt for and rescue uninfected survivors. – (Source)


The Good:
I was wary about watching an entire movie filmed like a first person shooting game but that conceit worked for PANDEMIC. All of the action scenes were more kinetic because it was all coming right at the viewer while all of the non-action stuff was even more tense because you felt like you were more involved than if you were watching a regularly filmed movie. And amazingly there was not even one second of motion sickness during the entire watch for me,
PANDEMIC also gave a glimpse at what looked like a decent bit of world building around this virus outbreak and has me really interested in seeing more especially if the focus of the next film is on the supposed safe zone that is run by the less than trustworthy Dr. Greer (played with perfect amounts of gruffness by Paul Guilfoyle).

The Bad:
Man, the characters in this movie are colossal idiots. They are all supposedly very aware of the dangers they are facing and the stakes involved with their stated mission yet they all seem to have worse judgment than any random big boobed soon-to-be victim from the worst slasher films.
I also annoyed that the film’s focus was on the barely interesting personal desires of the characters on the field team and not on the shenanigans going on at the shady safe zone. There was a good movie to be made here but every directorial and writing decision seemed to totally undermine that potential good movie.

The Ugly:
I was thoroughly confused by the infected levels behavior. The film had a very cool scene early on that detailed all of the levels of infection yet once the team got into the outside world there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the way the infected behaved and all of the levels info the audience was given seemed to be chucked in the bushes in service of creating “cool” scenes.

Final Verdict: PANDEMIC is a stylish addition to the “rage virus/zombie” horror subgenre but aside from that style, the film falters due to paper thin characters that never feel like real people and a narrative flow that focuses on the least interesting aspects of the film’s world.

Grade: C+

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