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Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh), a professional cave diver compared to Jacques Cousteau and Neil Armstrong, is on a caving/cave-diving expedition with his highly trained team and his mercurial son Josh (Rhys Wakefield). Exploring the Esaala Caves in Papua New Guinea, the team has to traverse thousands of meters of virgin caves in order to ultimately find a connection to the sea. The eccentric financier, Carl (Ioan Gruffudd), with experience sky diving, caving, and cave diving, stalag-might have a problem with an imminent typhoon that threatens the expedition. The team is in over their heads when Mother Nature expedites the timeline; and they must navigate an underwater labyrinth in order to survive.
Similar to a real surfer watching Point Break, a rock climber watching Cliffhanger, or a skydiver watching...Point Break, there are plenty of technicalities to nitpick. The point, however, is entertainment, not a documentary. While utterly predictable during most moments, the movie nonetheless whitens knuckles and squeezes air from lungs. Beautifully rendered and lit, the cinematography had to naturally extend a little creative license in order to capture some of the brilliant underwater scenes. Particularly thrilling were the wide-angle cave diving shots and the crystal clear caverns. If pristine, unexplored worlds, alien to the average human eye were intended, then kudos are warranted.
While I enjoyed the script (regardless of predictability), the dialogue was weak at times.Read more ›
"Sanctum" is centered around a team of cave explorers in Papua New Guinea (actually filmed in Australia) as they go deep into a cave purported to be one of the world's most unexplored and possibly largest systems. Of course, a tropical storm is on the way, but they all believe they'll be just fine, with a few days to spare. The storm turns into a typhoon, the comm system goes down, and the team is trapped deep in the earth as the torrent of rain causes the water to rise within the caverns and threaten their lives. In the midst of these struggles, we find a teenaged boy at odds with his famous explorer-dad, and others who are more interested in self-preservation than in any act of human decency. We find bits of "The Abyss," "Alien," and "The Descent" all mish-mashed into a colossal mess.
The first obstacle for me was the ridiculous dialogue, which sounded like teenagers trying to impress friends and screenwriters trying to fabricate drama. The next obstacle was the world-class explorers who panic and turn on each other the moment any danger hits. The third obstacle was the typhoon which arrives in seeming minutes, with no time to warn anyone even though a storm was known to be approaching days earlier. The fourth obstacle was watching experienced explorers leave others far behind in caves and then asking where they are. This is just ridiculous behavior by anyone who has spent more than a few hours outdoors or in the wild.Read more ›
This is almost one of those "And Then There Were None" sagas, because characters are drowning very regularly in this one. There is a classic battle going on between a strong-willed father and an equally determined son. The stubborn, tyrannical father has spent his adult life exploring caves with great danger to himself and to those around him. He's a cold-blooded, some would call a maniacal spelunker. Cave exploration, it seems, involves mountain-climbing skills, underwater diving, toying with death, and conflict-management.
Of course in such an endeavor you have to have an ambitious, willful, selfish, risk-taking villain who defies orders, is nasty and puts others at risk. For most of the 109 minutes of movie running time, you are in these caves that are lit well enough to see the actors, and it's bright enough to see them get knocked off. There are no creatures down there to threaten them which may put off some animal enthusiasts in the audience.
The actors all do a credible job, but I never heard of any of them. James Cameron was executive producer, but it doesn't look as if he played a very active part in the creative end of the production. The special effects are not particularly noteworthy.
There's excitement, suspense, and you can't help becoming involved, but somehow it lacks that creative spark that's needed. It's non-stop action which younger viewers liked. One thing I discovered about 3D movies. Look at them without the glasses and the picture is brighter, the colors are sharper.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the Realism of this movie. It keeps you tuned in from begging to end...Published 22 days ago by Lance Langton
The location footage and FX were really good. The storyline was a little disheartening because of inexperienced cavers attempting to tell the experienced caver how to survive.Published 2 months ago by Tony
Awesome movie! Great value for price. This movie is an awesome action-adventure thriller! I'm normally not a fan of movies like this, but have found myself watching it a few times... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Heather Sosa
This is a very powerful movie. If you are a diver, climber, another extreme sport junkie - this will be a good past time for when the weather is bad for your chosen poison. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Igor Z.
It is the only realistic caving movie there is,no monsters just the real dangers of extreme caving,great movie for cavers and noncavers this one i might just buy,thanks Ray.Published 4 months ago by ray
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