In the scenes under water, this movie came across as one of those bad films we had to watch in school--poor audio, home-movie quality video, bad new age music, boring narration. But the plant and animal life in the sea was amazing, and quite well photographed. And when the "treasure" was changed from buried gold to coffins on a sunken ship, I thought the photography of the wreck was also good.
Once we got out of the water, the underwater scenes seemed like a masterpiece. I was starting to wonder (since I arrived late) whether this was a college or independent project where someone followed around a group of friends. No, there were villains, and no documentary would have had scenes with only the villains. It was a pleasure to see some potential for conflict, because at least these people could act, unlike our heroes.
Cheryl Ladd had beautiful long blonde hair and looked good in a bikini, though she usually wore more, which was a shame. If her character was supposed to be intelligent or have special skills, I couldn't tell. For the ladies, Darby Hinton usually wore only a swimsuit.
I will say that the quality of the music improved at times, because it sometimes included fine classical piano in the style of Ferrante and Teicher or Roger Williams. Even the alien noises that usually dominated might be considered quality by the coffee house poetry crowd.
And the narration also seemed to improve. The only good writing seemed to be the narrator's, bordering on poetic at times.
I do need to single out one scene. In a James Bond movie, this type of situation is a staple and often spellbinding. Here, it was poorly executed, poorly edited, and quite confusing. I finally realized what was going on, but in a good movie it would be obvious.
This could have been quite a fascinating movie. Instead, it probably should have stayed buried.
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