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Sanctum

by

Jeff Nelson

Sanctum is flooded with flaws, but the visuals just look so damn good!

Sanctum
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As we all know, James Cameron is one of the most well-known filmmakers alive in the industry. His films aren't cheap to make, but he has been able to always get an unbelievably large profit. Now he has filled the shoes as Sanctum's executive producer. If nothing else draws an audience to this film, it's that.

An underwater cave diving team experiences a tropic storm that cuts off the exit and their time is running to find a way out. When first watching the trailer, I thought it looked a lot like The Descent underwater. Let me clear up that it's nothing like The Descent. It's difficult not to roll your eyes at times in this film. The characters all make foolish decisions throughout, making it difficult to feel any sympathy for the characters. The plot is extremely predictable and it's quite easy to guess which characters are going to die. The dialogue is laughable and has too many scenes that feel like a film on Lifetime. It's a shame that the conversations between characters are as disappointing as they are. There's absolutely nothing here that you haven't already seen in other films that involve caves, whether they're underwater or not. However, the climax of the film is very entertaining and even thrilling at times. It's a shame that the film wasn't filled with more of those types of moments.

In Sanctum, you'll find Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, and others. The acting is weak throughout. None of the actors has very much chemistry on the big screen. There are times where the acting, mainly by Rhys Wakefield, becomes almost cringe-worthy. The way that he recited some of the lines of dialogue just never worked. I never expected any strong performances from this film, but when the film is feeling dragged down further by the acting is when there's a problem.

With James Cameron as the executive producer, there shouldn't be any worries concerning the visuals. It's his specialty after all. The films is often breathtaking in its visuals. The cinematography of the underwater caves is absolutely magnificent. The film was shot on real 3D cameras and luckily wasn't post-converted. If you're looking for a pop-up book with objects jumping out at you, you're going to be disappointed. The 3D here is used for depth and there are moments where its quite effective. When water is dripping down or air bubbles are coming from the divers' masks, it looks great. However, there were too many times where the picture looked flat and the 3D glasses did nothing but make the picture clear.

The final 20 minutes of the film is when it begins to get a little better. Everything before that felt plain. There's nothing that sets this apart from other exploring films. The dialogue and acting need a tremendous amount of work and could do without the Lifetime movie moments. The dialogue and acting need a tremendous amount of work and could do without the Lifetime movie moments. Sanctum is flooded with flaws, but the visuals just look so damn good!

My Rating = Two Stars

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