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.
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?
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.
No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.