In Too Deep
image from aceshowbiz.com
RANT: Running around before the film like crazy. Took my MacBook to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. They were very helpful and nice. Then bought a headlight bulb for my car and installed it under the cover of the mall parking garage while it drizzled outside. Finally made it to the theater with time to spare, ready to take in James Cameron's latest venture.
SYNOPSIS: During an expedition in an unexplored cave system a underwater cave diving team finds itself trapped as a storm rages above, drowning out their only known means of escape and forcing the team into the unknown.
James Cameron executive produces and Alister Grierson directs a film inspired by true events. With a screenplay by John Garvin and story by Andrew Wight - a real life Australian underwater explorer and film maker - Sanctum is as detailed in its script as it is in its cinematography.
The story focuses on veteran underwater cave explorer Frank McGuire, his team including his son Josh, and his financier Carl Hurley and the boss' girlfriend. We start the film topside with the arrival of Carl and his girlfriend Victoria at the docks of Papua New Guinea, met by Josh. Carl pilots a helicopter en route to the Esa Ala Caves, taking the audience on a breathtaking flight through and above the rain forest. But that is all foreplay as the 3-D photography techniques that Cameron developed to shoot Avatar take us on a journey under our world - rarely explored or thought about. The cave system is the center piece of the film and is both majestic and claustrophobic, its inherent deadly nature heightened by the water that runs through it.
After the diving team becomes cut off from exit due to the tropical storm above and the rush of water it dumps into the cave system, Frank uses his year of experience in an attempt to lead the others out of the cave system by following the cave river to the sea. But Frank's methods are harsh and realistic, causing some members of the team to question his judgement. But will they all hold it together long enough for them to escape to freedom or will the caverns become their tombs?
Sanctum is great storytelling, both emotional and suspenseful. There are traces of The Cave, The Descent and even Touristas in this film, but one would never mistake them for what Sanctum delivers. The cast is perfect - Richard Roxburgh as Frank, Ioan Gruffudd as Carl, Rhys Wakefield as Josh, Alice Parkinson as Victoria, Dan Wyllie as George. Every one of them the embodiment of alpha leaders with their own way of doing things, forced to rely on someone else for their own survival. Sanctum is beautifully shot, the 3-D technology almost too much to take in all at once. The mind has some trouble adjusting to the quicker motion of the technology at times, but the technology also makes us painfully aware that all of the 3-D flicks coming out of Hollywood pale in comparison.
Worth: Matinee or Blu-Ray
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