Adam Elliott blogs about movies, cinema life and other goofy things.
Movie Review: Sanctum
by adammoviereviews,posted Feb 4 2011 12:27PM
Rated R â€“ 1h49
If I were to name three things that bore me; cave exploration, C-List Australian actors and James Cameron might actually make the list. Unfortunately for me, Sacntum has all three.
Based on a true story, Sanctum follows a group of adventerous researchers who are exploring a gigantic cave and have to spelunk for their lives after a rainstorm threatens to flood their only entrance and exit.
This isnâ€™t James Cameronâ€™s follow up to Avatar, because that would be a sad, sad reality for him. Heâ€™s got Executive Producer credits on this film, which means little other than that he served as a consultant. Heck, I think my dog has Executive Producer credits on some movies from the early 2000â€™s.
Sanctum features a cast of mostly unknown actors who deliver cheesy and flat performances. While dealing with the natural disaster theyâ€™re facing, they resort to bad dialogue, uninspired drama and awkward Australian phraseology. I would have been happier if somebody said â€śa dingo stole my baby,â€ť but again, Iâ€™m out of luck.
Maybe Indiana Jones could still get away with saying â€śWhat could possibly go wrong with diving in caves?â€ť This cast makes the foreshadowing obvious and annoying.
The movie is also shot from a confusing perspective. You never really can grasp whether the cave they are in is 10 feet from the surface or six miles under. Most of the scenes take place in a cramped cave space that doesnâ€™t give you the massive feeling that a cave should give you.
Like Cameronâ€™s last work, the scenery is beautiful in Sanctum. The tropical forests, underground worlds and underwater oceans were a character to themselves. Sadly again, they were the only interesting character. You can dress a movie up and even put it in shiny 3D, but if the story is lacking, there wonâ€™t be much to enjoy.
This movie could have been much more with better execution. Being trapped in a cave, miles under the earthâ€™s surface and having to rely on your strengths to get you out is a scary and intriguing premise. I think if Cameron really had his hands on this movie, he would have been able to root out Sanctumâ€™s glaring weaknesses. Putting his name on it only serves to weaken his overextended and no longer welcome pitch for 3D.