It is a tale of man V.S. mother nature in the spelunking movie Sanctum, a sub terrarium underwater thriller produced by the man who is fascinated by the underwater world James Cameron. Not only is it a story of man V.S. mother nature, it is also a true story. So audiences can expect noble sacrifices and very predictable scenes. Hit the jump to see the full review.
Alister Grierson directed this cave diving adventure of predictable thrills and what seems to be scenes from what’s left from Cameron’s previous water related films that did not make the final cut. For you underwater and cave diving adventure, visit your DVD rental store and rent The Abyss. Water flooding the area limiting space and oxygen supplies, put Titanic on your Netflix queue. Crystal blue waters and breath taking images of the deep, take a look at Cameron’s documentaries Ghost of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep. Audiences who are familiar with Cameron’s work has seen it all with the chemical substance that currently covers just about 70% of our Earth. So it seems fitting that Cameron be attached to this project. Also attached are the writing and the acting.
Sanctum was inspired by the film’s co-writer Andrew Wight’s near-death experience of leading a diving expedition miles into a system of underwater caves, then having to find a way out after a freak storm collapsed the entrance.
The problem with Sanctum is that the performances and the visuals are not in unison. The visuals take over the film and the acting takes a backseat, in fact it is just left behind. There are characters with predictable traits such as the tough and grizzled Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh,), the young, eager flashy Carl (Ioan Gruffudd), and other minor supporting cast members. Backed by 3D, Sanctum provides excellent visuals enclosed spaces, rocky terrain, and limited light sources, something claustrophobics would not be comfortable with. This environment will seem massive in IMAX and will increase that feeling of terror and awe in between different scenes. But it is in between those different scenes that characters exchange unnecessary shouting matches at each other, and gives off the impression that they were going to get trapped and drown in their bad performances.
The R rating may be a bit drastic, much like the The King’s Speech rating, the choice words in the dialogue may have clouded the MPAA’s judgment.