SANCTUM (2011)

TMG Scale 3.0
Starring Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffodd,  and no one else, seriously. No one.

I expected so much more. When James Cameron is producing a movie,  your high expectations are warranted. Despite great cinematography, everything else in this movie was just all wet. A bad but irresistible pun.  About the only thing meeting my expectation was the obligatory high profile product placement of an iMac. The characters in this film just did not seem like Mac types though. Fact is, they did not seem like any type person I have ever met.  None are very likable. Having at least one character you can feel for or relate to is essential to any good film. It was the major flaw in a similar mother nature thriller called Vertical Limit in 2000.

The acting was awful and the dialogue worse.  They really would have been better to cut the soundtrack and replace it with classical music and call it a day. Better yet, Cameron might edit out all the characters and just redo this film for a  Discovery Channel Special on cave diving.

Roxburgh plays grumpy old Dad “Frank”— a world renowned cave diver and man of adventure.  His exploits seem to be financed by “Carl” (Ioan Gruffodd)  —ostensibly a techno wonderkid living off his stock options and associating with any thrill where death is a serious option. Frank’s son Josh (Rhys Wakefield) starts the film in open rebellion and disdain for his old man.  Josh comes around by the end of this film to discover his Dad a great guy.  However, none of the rest of the audience does.

This film is set in Papua , New Guinea. A pristine island in the South Pacific used heavily in WWII as a landing strip and then pretty much left alone. It would be a very cool place to visit, but personally, I would skip the cave adventure experience. Bats hang out in caves. Need I say more?  All in all, this was a disappointing film.  You can save your money by sharing a National Geographic magazine in a cold shower for two hours with a people you don’t like and pretty much get the same experience.

Viewer warning: If you are even mildly claustrophobic, I recommend you skip this film. Then again, if you enjoy good films, I would recommend you skip this film.  Some people left the theatre I was in and more than a few appeared very uncomfortable and were squirming from the cold, dark cave scenes.  There were more tight spaces and heavy breathing in this film than in most Linda Lovelace films. (You have to be old enough to appreciate that joke and know who Linda Lovelace was).

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