1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deepsea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out. Written by
Michael Hofer <email@example.com>
The film was shot in warehouses with specially constructed water tanks rather than being filmed on the high seas because Warner Bros didn't want to repeat the debacle of Waterworld (1995). Filming it on the ocean would have sent the budget into the stratosphere, which is what crippled Waterworld's chances at the box-office. They managed to trim the budget by 20 million dollars, but despite all their precautions, Sphere (1998) still died a quiet death at the box-office. See more »
In several scenes the team members wear various recreational dive computers, which are useless on a 1000ft saturation dive. See more »
Flashy, sizzling horror sci-fi with excellent claustrophobic suspense.
The fourth Michael Crichton adaptation in line is quite a good one. After the blockbuster success of `Jurassic Park' and minor hits `Congo' and `The Lost World', `Sphere' matches up to theses levels. And with so much talent in store, it certainly is appealing. Academy Award winners Barry Levinson and Dustin Hoffman (who coincidentally won Oscars for the same film) and Oscar Nominees Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson all headline the movie.
The end result is relatively good, but with so much talent on board it could have been a bit better. However, the film succeeds in what attempts to do. There are ample scarifying chills along with a high enjoyability factor. The haunting suspense is soon followed by an equally chilling action. This is good because other chillers such as `The Sixth Sense' built up the suspense, but no action followed. For that film, the scares lost all their quality the second time round. But in `Sphere's' case, the suspense keeps its intensity every time.
The film starts out very well whilst on the surface, but gradually it gets worse only to amount to a satisfying conclusion. The middle scenes aren't bad, but they're a bit too gloomy and eerie. Another quibble is the obvious lack of originality. The main plot of `Event Horizon', which was made the year before that, is quite similar to the plot of this. There are also bits and pieces of other science fictions such as `Alien' taken here and there. Luckily it takes the bests bits and leaves you on the edge of your seat. But the finished product isn't as nourishing as it should be. The plot can get complicated at times, but for the most part it's actually quite clever.
And the glamorous cast of familiar faces insures that the movie never drags on. Dustin Hoffman is well cast as the calm, stable psychiatrist and makes a suitable lead. It's not her most challenging role, but Sharon Stone s believable as the kooky biochemist. She still hasn't received any tough roles after `Casino' though. The most complex character in the film, Samuel L. Jackson drops the usual machismo for some convincing scepticism and abnormal goofiness. The supporting cast including Leiv Shreiber, Queen Latifah and Peter Coyote do their parts adequately, not that they can do much with them.
The directing is good as expected by a great director. Levinson beautifully creates the required intensity and the visuals are very impressive aswell. The glistering shimmer of the huge golden sphere of the title is a delight to gaze at.
The stars flash and the plot sizzles. There are a few plot-holes that it falls into along with a bit of a sag in the middle. Nevertheless, `Sphere' is an impressive sci-fi horror that succeeds on almost every other level. My IMDb Rating: 6.8/10.
29 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?