Sanctum Australia, Great Wight Productions/ Osford Films, Relativity Media

Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie, Christopher Baker, Nicole Downs, Allison Cratchley, John Garvin

Sanctum is a story of one of the worlds top divers, Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) and a team of divers (and a few adventurers with a little less experience) off on an expedition to one of the largest and most beautiful caves ever. Deep in the ground accessible only by an arduous climb or a parachute, they have the misfortune of being down deep in the cave when a tropical storm hits big time and the cave begins to flood. The way out being blocked, they have to find another way out by following the underground water to the sea. It’s a long dangerous journey and only a small chance they can make it out.

First of all, I went to see this when I was pretty sick. As it was, I had to walk out to the restroom 3 times during the movie. Second there were only 2 other people in the whole theater, so that’s not a great sign either, but I did see it in 3D in a very large theater. The photography was breathtaking as was the 3D. This was filmed in Queensland, Australia and all the actors are Australian, so it took a bit of effort to catch all the dialog at times, but this isn’t about the dialog anyway, it’s about adventure. There are some faults in this film which will turn off some people. I’m not sure if they did the right things every time, and I think they went over the heads of most of the people who will be watching this. James Cameron spoke about this, and he wanted to give a movie to a director friend of his who has never done a feature film before. So he wanted to pick a topic that is close to the directors skill set. James and his company have spent many years diving down to the Titanic and making IMAX documentaries about underwater diving. In fact, James remarked that he spent more hours on the deck of the Titanic than the captain. This director has worked on the 3D documentary films, so the idea was to do something they’re used to, and an underwater cave drama was drawn up and put together to match those skills. As a result, they are very technically familiar with the special equipment and most of us who are about as familiar as we got watching Thunderball, I don’t think they gave us some of the technical explanations causing some people to make wild assumptions of errors in the movie that are not really errors. But they occasionally made stupid choices just to move the story along. You have to enjoy this as a fantasy adventure and try not to make everything too literal.

In that way, this is a lot like the Poseidon Adventure in the sense that it’s a disaster/survival story in a surreal surrounding that makes us suspend belief a little bit to make the story more exciting. (Could they really climb up ((down?)) the Christmas tree like that?) I really enjoyed the escape in this film, in the way I enjoy the Earth Day films from Disney or the Himalaya climbing adventure stories on the Discovery Channel. But there is also a lot of family relationship drama as well. Again, much like the Poseidon Adventure, as each person reaches a personal climax in their life, they are also facing dangerous situations and some survive for a while and some don’t. How the rest react is part of the story. Frank has been a cave adventurer and a diver all his life, and his son has had no chance to really know his father. As they have to depend on each other to survive they have to learn to appreciate each other, something they’ve never done. I’ll never have the opportunity to dive in a cave like this, and I was able to experience it thanks to the special filming and diving equipment developed by James Cameron, so regardless if this film pales in comparison to some of his huge hits, this is a great adventure and has a place in itself. It’s a pleasant escape from our hum drum lives for a few hours and that’s valuable too.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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    Ed's Review Dot Com » This Week on DVD – 06/07/2011 said

    June 7 2011 @ 11:03 am

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