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SANCTUM (2011)

>> Monday, February 7, 2011


First off, this isn't a James Cameron film. That needs to be made clear to those of you saying "Oh, I'm on my way to see James Cameron's Sanctum" or "the new James Cameron flick". This needs to be stressed in a way most things don't, because if Sanctum were a real James Cameron picture you would undoubtedly see a nice Open Door logo to your left. No, this is indeed an Aliston Grierson film, who in the past has also directed... - well, nothing (that is to say nothing that's ever mattered).

Sanctum is about a group of people who get stuck in a cave underground somewhere in Papua New Guinea, just as a cyclone starts flooding that same cave. Think The Descent (2005) mixed with Hard Rain (1998) mixed with a bus load of bullshit. By the end of this thing I had seen more unoriginal and satirical material than one can find in all the nineteen Scary Movies combined.

Breaking it down, the film is about a father-son relationship that needs some work. The father, Frank, is played by Richard Roxburgh and the son, Josh, is played by Rhys Wakefield. There are other characters involved, of course, (including Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd) but they don't really matter because in the end all you have is a group of flat, two-dimensional characters fighting their way through a predictable storyline that ends in just as a predictable fashion.

I am (obviously) giving Sanctum a closed door. While the 3D was fine and the cinematography pretty well done, there's nothing here we haven't seen before. It's the usual fight-for-your-life survival story with one character who panics, one guy who's the hero, one character who's a selfish butthole and another who knows everything. While parts of this film are enjoyable and some people may find this 'adventure' amusing, enjoyable or maybe even inspiring, for me it just came off as ... meh. No-name filmmaker? Yes. James Cameron? HELLZ NO!

*Stills courtesy of Relativity Media


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