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Sanctum is one very, very bad film

Don't let the name James Cameron fool you. Sanctum is certainly no Avatar.

In this James Cameron-produced 3D underground extravaganza, a group of underwater cave divers explore a cave system in Papua New Guinea. The dangerous mission becomes even more life threatening when a sudden storm floods the system. The only way out is a dangerous route downward toward the ocean. The question is: How many will survive?

Richard’s Rating: 0 stars
Mark’s Rating: 1 star


RC: Mark, the early part of the year is supposed to be the worst movie-going season, but so far it hasn’t been so bad. But Sanctum is my first seatbelt movie of the year - a film so awful I thought I might need a seatbelt to keep me in my chair for the whole thing.

MB: Oh, yeah? I'm a claustrophobe AND have a fear of water. Plus, I'm allergic to bad writing. So I squirmed through this as well. But let me say something good about the movie: the 3D not only was technically superb, it enhanced the plot, what little there was. You must admit it put you in the middle of the adventure.

RC: If you’re allergic to bad writing then stay away. The dialogue is so wooden I swear I saw woodpeckers circling the theatre. I’ll admit the 3D was OK, and some of the pictures were beautiful, but I couldn’t help but think it wasn’t enough to keep me interested. Don’t you think, with some editing, it could have made a better National Geographic cave documentary than an adventure movie?

MB: Definitely. And one of the "characters" even references National Geographic. But then we wouldn't be treated to the stellar "acting" of the no-name cast. Richard, do you mean you weren't moved to tears by the way the son learns to love his irascible but courageous dad? Why I haven't seen that in a movie in... weeks.

RC: The father and son dynamic doesn’t ring true, but then again, very little in this movie does. Scenes that should be tension filled are just tedious and how is it that someone, who we’re told has “broken every bone in their body,” is able to tightly grab the first character that walks by? Am I being too picky?

MB: No, but the scene does illustrate the limitations of a safety helmet. The scene that offended me was the climactic one between father and son, because it had already been done with other characters earlier on. What could have been moving -- even shocking -- was banal. I should have stayed home and watched The Hole again.

RC: My advice is to stay home and watch anything else. Watch paint dry... the acting is better. And a further word of advice: Don’t be fooled by James Cameron’s name in the credits. Sanctum is no Avatar.

 
 
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