Who's in It: Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie
The Basics: In the South Pacific, there is a group of people swimming through an underwater cave system to boldly explore spaces untouched by man. In the scientific world they are called Cave Divers, and in the real world they are called Insane People. Frank (Roxburgh) and his son Josh (Wakefield) are down deep below the surface bickering while the rest of the team are hovering nearby, doing something vaguely scientific. Bossman (Gruffudd) and his girlfriend (Parkinson) show up just before a huge storm, and soon the cave floods. The team must rally together and try to find a way out of the cavernous treachery. This film is based on an experience the co-screenwriter Andrew Wight had in Australia.
What's the Deal: If you're going to see a movie in 3D, this is it. It employs the use of executive producer James Cameron's Avatar equipment modified for that third dimension goodness. Although the CG green screen doesn't always look great, the film is mostly impressive to look at since it conveys the awe-inspiring beauty and wonder of caves. One minute, you are in a space no wider than your torso, and the next, you are hovering in an immense, bottomless cathedral. Of course the film gets less roomy visually as the situation becomes more hopeless, so the claustrophobic should stay home and enjoy breathing surface air.
My New Drinking Game: For the first act of this film, every time a character utters a one-liner that you know will be utterly disproven by the end, you take a shot. You will end up completely wasted because that's all that anyone does here--examples include lines similar to: This cave won't get the best of me (yes it will) or I will be fine without that wetsuit (you're gonna die). The script is pretty lackluster and makes the film average--it definitely has tension, but you're in a tiny cave, for crying out loud. There's tension even if the whole movie consists of people doing handstands and talking about their tax returns. I wish there was something more than just the usual character archetypes here. Richard Roxburgh is a real standout in this movie, making the most of it--and his movie-son Rhys Wakefield keeps up nicely. Casting these two was a phenomenal idea, because the story hinges on them and makes the film watchable.
SCUBA Diver Approved: Divers might be one of the most inaccurately-represented groups in cinema, next to Gypsies and Animal Detectives. As an advanced certified diver myself (yes, I am kind of a big deal) I shift uncomfortably when I see divers put their masks on their foreheads and not stop at 15 feet to decompress. This film treats divers with reverence and gets in some nice little touches about how stirring up silt is a huge faux pas, as well as the dangers of exhaustion, among others. I am curious to see how the cave divers react to it--if you ever want to hear a group of people complain louder than 83 year olds at a Ke$ha concert, just say something inaccurate about cave guide lines or BCD buoyancy at a PADI meeting.