If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum
was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four
) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum
does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum
as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton
, the epic underwater adventure from three-time Academy Award®-winning executive producer James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic
), follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea.
Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh of Moulin Rouge!
, Mission: Impossible II
) has explored the South Pacific’s Esa’ala caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s key team—including 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield of The Black Balloon, Broken Hill
) and financier Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd of Fantastic Four
.)—is forced to radically alter plans.
With dwindling supplies, the crew—including Carl’s girlfriend, Victoria (Alice Parkinson of Where the Wild Things Are, X-Men Origins: Wolverine
), and Crazy George (Dan Wyllie of Muriel’s Wedding, Chopper
)—must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?Special Features:
- Deleted Scenes
- Feature Commentary
- Sanctum: The Real Story