REVIEW: Sanctum

Many times over the years, we have seen films involving underwater adventures jumbled with disasters and chaos along the way from the likes of The Abyss, The Poseidon Adventure, it’s remake Poseidon, possibly Titanic amongst others. It is safe to say that these films perhaps aren’t for the faint hearted and definitely aren’t the greatest kinds of films to have been made. However, the fact that the film had been filmed and scheduled for release in 3D actually made the 3D not seem pointless for a change since Avatar‘s release in December 2009.

The film itself has a very corny and predictable dialogue, but the 3D experience would have been beyond words! Being one who never actually saw it in 3D or at the cinema, I now take it with deep regret that I hadn’t considered seeing Sanctum in 3D whether it was going to be a good film or not. The cinematography was just magnificent! Although it probably won’t gain any recognition, the film does deserve an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. It is an impressive film to see if you’re a deep admirer of photography and nature, so that at the same time makes it a beautiful film too.

Although the filming of Sanctum was just fantastic, not in a long time has there been a more plain, empty and soulless ensemble cast in a film. The reason why the characters just weren’t interesting was that you just do not feel hardly anything for them in their situation and they just lack understanding the idea that they are in a lot of trouble. Ioan Gruffudd was the only actor in the film that I was familiar with. Although he has never been a solid actor and that his performance in Sanctum wasn’t all that great as predicted, but he was at least convincing enough to take seriously.

Richard Roxburgh unfortunately was a lame leading actor as the group leader, Frank. He was a confusing character because on one side, he was a bitter cold-hearted old man yet he became a big softy father. That is what this situation in the caves turned him into. Rhys Wakefield as Josh became one of the instantly dislikeable characters you could possibly watch in a film, and for that reason, he just needed to be killed off. There was just nothing there, no courage to get out, no emotional bond between him and his father Frank and just no bond with any of the other characters.

Obviously, everybody watching this will completely abandon the directorí Alister Grieson’s work and focus on James Cameron’s involvement as one of the producers in Sanctum. This is a typical film that James Cameron would be associated with, and you can tell that he was part of it due to the filming. Having said that he wasn’t actually the director of the film, the filming style was just like in The Abyss; apart from the improved technological effects. Alister Grieson is one of those directors who nobody had even heard of before, but will now after working alongside one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. Having said that he was actually the director, I’m not entirely sure he could have pulled it off as a success without Cameron’s help. In the majority of weak stories, there is clearly going to be a weak screenplay added into the mixture. So, there wasn’t any surprises about the weak script, but one specific section of the script that was really shocking was the last line in the very rushed ending. It’s beyond me how that can still be kept as part of the script after such a magnificent production process!

Overall, Sanctum is admittedly a deeply-flawed film, but cannot help but still find an entertaining film to go ahead and enjoy. Therefore, it is one of those rare films where you just need to ignore the flaws and just have some fun and get as much entertainment from it as possible, especially in 3D and blu-ray. If there is anything that Sanctum has taught us about 3D, it is that it only looks good when a film is filmed in 3D and having a lot of close-up shots and colourful visual backgrounds. Hopefully, this film has taught a valuable lesson to other directors willing to convert 2D films into 3D, and won’t be seeing many of them again in the upcoming future.


~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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