*You ever seen Alien?
Disaster strikes more than six miles below the ocean surface when water crashes through the walls of a drilling station. Led by their captain, the survivors realize that their only hope is to walk across the sea floor to reach the main part of the facility. But they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when they come under attack from mysterious and deadly creatures that no one has ever seen.
Storytelling has a long history of borrowing ideas and storylines from previous sources. Some call it homages, some call it paying tribute and some just call it stealing. Watching the camera pan around the ship at the beginning of the new William Eubank movie Underwater, I said to myself oh a cool little homage to Alien. However, as the movie went on and it was beat for beat just copying Alien, then I felt a little different about the whole thing.
As I said, this is just Alien underwater. We have the crew with each person have a slightly different persona, gender and race, you have the ship in peril due to an unknown reason, and then of course monsters no one has ever seen or heard of to make things a little feisty. Basically, to summarize the plot, through a myriad of circumstances this small crew of workers has to walk on the ocean floor for 2 miles to get to an escape ship back to the surface. And from the moment this movie starts that is all the story has time for.
The single focused nature of the movie is commendable I guess, but you just feel so disconnected to the characters none of it matters. Right when the movie ended I could not even remember one of the characters names unless I looked it up. That feels due to the rushed nature of this story, which starts from moment one when they just drop right into the action. Even when the story ventures out Underwater the action is so hard to see and the monsters just are not interesting or explained at all, which made me less and less connected to everything going on. I understand this is a horror/action movie and sometimes those stories are thinner but this just was like someone plopped like a 15 page script on the table and said go.
Stock Neutral – Kristen Stewart
Stewart was easily the best part of the Charlie’s Angels reboot and now she gets to be the Ellen Ripley knock off hero in the movie. She does her best to stay courageous and rally the crew at the right times, but it is just an underwritten character. And when she has her big moment at the end, while she is just in her underwear for 20 minutes, it just does feel earned because you know like nothing about her.
Who’s That Guy/Gal?
Vincent Cassel – 88 IMDB Acting Credits
A nice face to see pop up here as the Captain, he is always great whether he shows up as a hero or villain. Of course though, he is best known for his role as Francois Toulour in the Oceans movies.
*A couple other tidbits
- T.J. Miller was so forced in this movie and it just made me sad.
- Extremely claustrophobic movie at times.
Underwater was just a flat ripoff of not only Alien but many other horror movies and really missed the mark for me. I am always a character guy first and having learned nothing about any of the characters throughout this, it gives me a hollow feeling about the movie as a whole.
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