From the start I knew that "Sanctum" wasn't going to be anything special. But, out of strange curiosity I wanted to test my thoughts on the film by giving it a shot in IMAX 3D, because well, lets face it, IMAX makes any movie better. With "Sanctum", that fact changes. While the look of the film remains the only good factor from it, the visuals don't help make this just a fun pop-corn flick. Instead, it was painful to sit through for many reasons and unless your still not convinced in skipping this after my review, then at least wait for the DVD. Don't waste your money now.
James Cameron, who we all know stamped his name all over this without doing a single thing, is not the blame when it comes to the disasters that follow "Sanctum". He wasn't the director, he wasn't an actor in the film, and he wasn't one of the writers. So, people bashing on Cameron over this movie should probably think back and realize the only thing he does in "Sanctum" is presenting it to us like eye-candy with his big major motion-picture titles like "Avatar" and "Titanic", making the audience thinking "Sanctum" will be just as epic. Don't let that fool you!
I found it hard sitting through the first half of "Sanctum". The set-up that brings us into the main plot of the film is dreadful, dialog between characters is horrifying, and all of our main characters are simply unlikable. Once we get to where the movie actually picks up, it can become a little entertaining, but, not enough for me to get too much into it.
The plot of "Sanctum" is actually something with big potential. With all the different characters in the movie, it could of have had real good character development, but, instead the movie tries to hard focusing on a relationship between a father and son that becomes annoying twenty-minutes into the movie. That relationship being the closet thing to character development, its easy to dislike all the characters. The movie focuses on a cave-diving team exploring a cave never explored by any other before. Frank, being the world's most respected cave-diver, is a man who continues to breathe with the rush of exploring caves. His son, Josh, stuck in his father's career steps, is quite good at what he does, but simply hates exploring caves. This is supposed to strike tension between the two characters, but instead, only strikes up a boring pre-plot to the film that drags through even the major events. When the team faces a life-or-death situation in the cave, they must make their way through the un-explored and find a way out. That could have been entertaining, but, the film moves to slowly for it to become a big fast-paced thrill-ride that it could have.
Y'know that one character in a movie you always hate but never have a good enough reason? With "Sanctum", all of the characters are like that. Probably because the script is so cheesy and the dialog is god-awful. Some actors here try to hard with their lines, making it a little melo-dramatic at times, while other just have no emotion the entire time. Take Rhys Wakefield, for example, every time he had a scene where he had to cry and feel emotion, he always over did it. Ioan Gruffud (Fantastic Four) gives the worst performance out of the whole movie. His character was annoying and had no life brought into it at all. Whenever someone would die, Gruffud gets lazy and doesn't try with his lines that should be more filled with worry...than nothing. It was quite dreadful. His screams were horrific, worse than a teenage girls in her big horror-movie breakthrough. The best performance in the film comes from Richard Roxburgh, and even his performance had me laughing at times from how bad it was. Let's just say, the acting in the film doesn't do it any good.
It's the direction of the film that's one of the only great qualities in it. Alister Grierson does a great job with the shots on the cave, making that the only redeeming thing from "Sanctum". Grierson, who doesn't deserve to have his name put on such a bad movie, presents incredible angles only a block-buster deserves. I mean, he could have put the actors to work a bit more, but, I won't hold too much of this film's failures to the guy. Anyways, the direction and cinematography on "Sanctum" are the only good things you'll get out of your wallet. That doesn't really make it worth jumping up to see, does it?
If your looking for a comedy, however, one night and your not a huge fan of Adam Sandler's newest flick, "Just go with it", go and have a laugh with "Sanctum" because the bad dialog had me almost in tears from laughter. "Sanctum" has some of the most cheesiest, dreadful lines in it than from what I've seen in a while. "You can do this...because you have to do this." Well, duh!
All and all, I wouldn't recommend spending on your dollar on this movie. The movie has a pretty good idea that could've offered much more but instead is dragged down by a terrible script, bad acting, and a frozen pace. The death scenes can be cool to look at, but, it doesn't do the film enough to make it worthy of your time, plus, it becomes obvious what idiot is going to die next, making the suspense it tries to grasp drop. If your still intrigued in seeing this, please, give it a rent.
Thanks for the read!