Pandemic Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Released by XLrator Media
Directed by John Suits
Written by Dustin T. Benson
2016, 91 minutes, Not Rated
Released on VOD and iTunes on April 5th, 2016
Rachel Nichols as Lauren
Missi Pyle as Denise
Alfie Allen as Wheeler
Mekhi Phifer as Gunner
Lauren (Rachel Nichols) is desperate to get back to her daughter. Trapped in New York when a vicious viral outbreak hits her family’s neighborhood in LA, she is unable to contact her family or get to them on her own. The only way to find out if they’re safe is to join a team of specialists heading out into the dangerous streets on a rescue mission; but getting there and back will prove more difficult than Lauren imagined. As the outbreak grows more ferocious, she and her team must find a way to not only survive the infected, but get back to safety before the protected zone is closed to them forever.
Pandemic is a “meh” film. The idea of a rescue mission has been done, the maternal instinct has been done, the first-person camera perspective has been done, the zombie virus is very done. While Pandemic is a solid story with a clear and practical narrative, nothing really pops out in amazement during viewing. Even the character names feel half-hearted: the driver is Wheeler, the artilleryman is Gunner, the woman chasing after her daughter is...Chase.
Rachel Nichols gives a decent performance as a mother struggling to overcome the fear for her personal safety. There are a few eye-roll moments where one wants to shout, “C’mon, you should’ve seen that coming!” at her character, but she is honest in her portrayal. Missi Pyle is more admirable as navigator Denise; experienced and level-headed despite the incredible danger she risks to save others. Mekhi Phifer is the real hero, however. No matter what happens, fearless Gunner is there to save the day.
The standout performance belongs to Alfie Allen as Wheeler. Known most for his role of Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones, Allen’s immersion into the street-tough ex-con bus driver is astonishingly seamless. His performance is riveting, and despite being a supporting character, you find yourself rooting most for Wheeler to come out on top.
I don’t need to go into much more detail about what happens, because if you’ve seen one zombie movie, you’ve seen Pandemic. If this is free on Netflix and you need to compare zombie tropes for a thesis, give it a look, but if you’re looking for a thrilling zombie epic give this one a miss.