Here’s an idea that probably sounded great in the planning stages. It’s The Hunger Games meets Apocalypto as three members of a post-apocalyptic tribe are sent into the woods to complete a gruelling leadership trial. Only for the trial to immediately be interrupted by rival warriors seeking a powerful item that turns out to simply be a gun.  That’s not a bad setup as far as these things go, having three hyper-aggressive young people duke it out amongst the remnants of the modern world while dressed like Mad Max waste-landers.

Except it’s clear from the outset that Tom Paton’s Pandorica doesn’t quite have what it takes to make its artistic vision come to life.  Lack of budget seems to be one major hindrance as the film is peppered with clumsily edited fight sequences, reused landscape shots and dimly-lit sets. The real problem though seems to be a lack of design into post-apocalyptic world and its characters.

The Varosha Tribe the main characters belong to seem to have no characteristics or culture beyond the trial taking place. What little of their language we hear is used only as a stand-in for swearing and how they came to be so isolated is hastily explained during an opening text-crawl. Furthermore the characters don’t even slightly look or act like they’ve been living in the wilderness for any amount of time. Seriously, these are probably the cleanest, most well-spoken wasteland dwellers you’ll see on screen.

To Pandorica’s credit it at least progresses at a brisk pace, quickly establishing the main drives of its main characters before diving into their trial. Marc Zammit takes the role of the ‘career tribute’ the one whose cocksure attitude masks a ruthless desire for victory.  Jade Hobday get lumped with the thankless role of, well, basically Katniss Everdeen but without an adorable moppet to protect and thus seem sympathetic. Listening to her throw out snarky one-liners or try to hold conversations about enemy warriors is one of the most laughable elements in the film.

Beyond that there just isn’t much by way of character to the rest of the film. A series of back and forth discussions on the nature of leadership broken up by badly-staged fights, and that’s pretty much it.