Movie Review – Underwater – Run of the Mill Sci-Fi Thriller
My Rating – 3 out of 5
Tian Industries, an Energy company, undertakes a venture to drill in Mariana Trench, 7 miles below the Pacific Ocean surface, for extracting resources. They have several Pods going down to the ocean floor, one of them being Keppler 822, where the movie opens with a nerdy looking Kirsten Stewart (as Norah Price) brushing her teeth. She looks really reedy here with her spiky hair and all and not much like a Mechanical Engineer, but more like a Technological Whiz-Kid!
There are things that will happen and make you feel powerless, and make you feel insignificant, but that’s it. There are just feelings. and sometimes you have to stop feeling, and start doing.Norah Price in Underwater
A massive earthquake strikes the facility and the hull is breached, crushing the underwater plant like a bug under a road roller! Stewart and a couple of others narrowly manage to close the door on the avalanche of water rushing at them. When a few of them reach the module where Escape Pods are housed and can take them to the safety of the surface, they find that everyone but the Captain – Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassell) has deserted them.
Now their only option is to walk one mile over the ocean floor to the nearest Roebuck Station 641. But that is the biggest challenge, given that there is seven miles of sea above them, it is perpetually dark and the temperature’s a few degrees below freezing. But the worst part is the pressure – Eight TONS per square inch which is approximately a thousand times more than the atmospheric pressure at sea level!
Norah Price : There’s a comfort in cynicism. There is a lot less to lose.Kirsten Stewart in Underwater
What this pressure can do to creatures of the surface is not well known – besides getting squashed to pulp in a second, as not much documented research have been conducted at those depths. I do remember, James Cameron making a trip down in a submersible, the Deep Sea Challenger in 2012, only the second manned mission down Mariana Trench. It is a completely different ecosystem out there, with hitherto unknown species inhabiting the dark world…
But I digress… The struggle of the team from Keppler 822 to walk underwater to the Roebuck Station and from there to the surface is what the movie is about. What creatures lurk in those depths and what currents flow there, are all unknown. The relentless pressure and a continuous lack of oxygen plays havoc with the survival chances of the remaining people and the director, William Eubank, uses all these hurdles to create the terror and thrills in this Sci-Fi thriller. It is not just a futuristic disaster movie, there are some nice nuances added to it.
Norah Price : He told me he didn’t believe in time, only moments.Kirsten Stewart in Underwater
There are small flashbacks into the characters’ past lives, in a bid to ingratiate them with the audience, but those aren’t exactly necessary, in my opinion. There’s a frenzied pace to the movie from the get-go, if you can imagine from when the Titanic starts breaking up, this movie kind of takes off from that stage and relentlessly rushes you to the end. Understandable panic build up, given the life and death situations and instinctive decision making that such situations entail, are done quite well.
Conclusion – Underwater Movie Review
Kirsten Stewart is a joy to watch, with her steely determination and grit manifesting quite well. This being a movie with few characters, it was imperative that those few put in sincere and credible efforts, and they have all done that. The only reason that the movie has low ratings, in my opinion, is due to a much rehashed story line , one that has been done to death over the last 100 years!
In keeping with the movie’s dark theme, the cinematography and audio effects are super and contribute handsomely to building up the suspense and add to the frenetic pace of the movie. Mind you, this is not a movie you’ll want to watch again and again, but for the holiday season, while it’s winter in the Northern hemisphere, cuddle and warm up to this enjoyable movie!