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Review: Locked into a simulated space mission for a limit-testing ‘400 Days’

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Brandon Routh plays Theo and Caity Lotz, as Emily in the movie “400 Days.” Courtesy of Syfy Films

(Syfy Films / Syfy Films)

Despite the intriguing “Twilight Zone"/"Outer Limits” premise — a quartet of would-be astronauts are subjected to a psychologically daunting simulated interstellar journey — the sci-fi drama “400 Days” ultimately disintegrates upon impact because of a lazy payoff.

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Confined to an underground mock-up spacecraft buried beneath an empty field, the isolated three men (Brandon Routh, Dane Cook and Ben Feldman) and one woman (Caity Lotz) serve as guinea pigs for a government experiment gauging the long-term effects of deep-space travel.

Unsurprisingly, pent-up tensions and creeping paranoia proceed to take their mental toll well before Day 400. Or do they?

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After evocatively setting the stage with a montage of some bizarro archival test footage from the early days of the space program, director-writer Matt Osterman’s feature for cable television network Syfy’s new theatrical division tosses out a lot of potential what-ifs but never commits to any of them.

Osterman cops out with an opaque ending that will likely vex viewers who have already had to endure a bunch of uninhabitable characters who prove as remote and lifeless as their faux interplanetary mission.

Lacking a viable exit strategy, the tension-free “400 Days” feels like wasted time.

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“400 Days”

No MPAA rating

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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