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The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever? Written by
I was expecting this film to be a lot worse but it was supported by my JC - James Cameron as executive producer and it does have some of the best 3D visuals out there. I praise Alister Grierson for using proper 3D cameras and not only that, the ones JC prefers and created. It was a joy to actually watch a proper 3D film and not the hideous post production 3D I have bitched about on numerous occasions. I think the utilizing of JC written everywhere will definitely help this film immensely and to some extent it truly deserves it.
Some of the scenes in this film are poetic artwork and sheer beauty and provide some mouth agape splendor. And the 3D really does immerse you in the environment, there were moments of vertigo and a constant claustrophobia suffered by myself. The only thing I have struggled to do that I have tried is scuba diving - I chewed through the mouthpiece and kept wanting to rip my mask off - not a cool way to dive . If you can see this one in IMAX 3D then do it - would be totally worth it.
The film also has a really worked out plot, the story is great, although it has been done to death before in different settings, it's an escape film like Towering Inferno. In fact think of The Poseidon Adventure minus the boat . If you don't work out who will survive in the first ten minutes then good for you . It is extremely clichéd with some obvious flaws - for example, the one lady who doesn't wear a wetsuit but wears this huge red outdoor storm gear thing nearly dies of hypothermia and shivers the whole time and yet all the guys are wearing wetsuits, although all sleeveless so we can see some flesh and they are always nice and cosily warm. What this film really lacked though was a decent script - some of the lines in this film had me laughing and cringing in equal parts. It really needed someone like Roberto Orci and/or Alex Kurtzman from Star Trek fame to flesh it out and make it justifiably awesome. But the script brings a lot of the film to B grade level.
Then the other thing that let this film down was one actor, Ioan Gruffudd - I could not believe how bad he was in this film. This guys is a lead in Fantastic 4, was in Titanic, King Arthur and numerous other films but in this he plays this over the top, heavily and badly accented American and it was so badly played he brought the film down a few notches - there were scenes I was hoping he would die so he would be gone from the film. It was shocking.
I will say thank god for the two main leads, Richard Roxburgh and Rhys Wakefield, playing his son. When I first saw the trailer I wasn't too impressed with Roxburgh - he always puts on a silly accent in films and in things like MIssion Impossible 2 he was this hideous bleach headed idiot. But in this film he really pulls it off and I preferred him as a leading man than as a supporting cast member. I found his role very believable and a strength in the film.
Then there was Rhys Wakefield, I found him great in the film and see a strong future for him following that Australian to US market. He is incredibly attractive and has smoother skin that Just Bieber after a buffing. Josh (Wakefield) has a superb relationship with his father in the film, Frank (Roxburgh). It is a love hate, make them tough relationship and it developed nicely and made Josh a man by the end of the film. His good looks were quite distractive in some scenes - as Josh is holding someone dying both Paul, my viewing partner, and myself were going oooh - nice arms. LOL. I am sure this is not what they were after in this scene . He holds the camera well and I look forward to his next role - those Hemsworth boys need to watch out - this guy is coming for all your parts.
I think this film will do OK. It is a guilty pleasure action film that requires limited thinking. It will be a teenager's dream film . I think with the combo of JC, some great direction in a difficult environment by Alister Grierson and the acting of Roxburgh and Wakefield really made this film a pleasure for me. If Gruffudd was never in this film and the script got a work over this could have been a much much better film. It is out this Thursday Feb 3rd in Australia and I recommend a big screen in 3D. Worth 6/10. Suss all my reviews at SaltyPopcorn.com :)
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