Title: The Abyss Director: James Cameron Year: 1989 Run time: 2hrs 25m
“In this thriller, underwater action adventure from writer-director James Cameron (Titanic; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Aliens), a civilian oil rig crew is recruited to conduct a search-and-rescue effort when a nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks. One diver (Ed Harris) soon finds himself on a spectacular odyssey 25,000 feet below the ocean’s surface where he confronts a mysterious force that has the power to change the world or destroy it.”
1:05 - Submarine!! 3:21 - They have to manually turn on their collision alarm? Why wouldn’t it know? 8:07 - Baby Ed Harris, cute! 9:25 - This is like Armageddon but under the sea. 12:38 - “Luck is not a factor.” Bet that comes back to haunt her later. 15:37 - Mooooon poool. 17:34 - Oof, she harsh lady. 21:32 - Rat might be able to breathe but aren’t they liable to have heart attacks under that kind of stress? Rubbish demo that would be. 23:55 - Love the little drone sub thing. Cute! 28:15 - “Triple time sounded like a lot of money but… it ain’t.” 42:45 - Argh, impact and they got a nuclear bomb on board. 46:30 - This music is the same as Back to the Future, no? 56:24 - I dunno what that thing is but it looks amazing. 59:47 - “It was a machine, but it was alive. It was like a dance of light.” 1:03:16 - Is that a Garfield on the window? 1:12:31 - “So raise your hand if you think that was a Russian water tentacle?’ 1:21:10 - I always feel so rubbish at how I cannot hold my breath when I see these. 1:24:10 - You can’t take on a Navy Seal with a gun. 1:35:21 - That’s harsh. He wasn’t a nice guy but he had the bends which didn’t help. 1:40:55 - Ugh, drowning. Nightmares incoming. 1:46:25 - They’ll have to try just yelling really loud in Casualty now. 1:52:47 - I am in the moment, promise, but I’m also still worrying about how they’ll get topside when this is all done. 2:00:35 - They should know better than to make the two wires look the same to colour blind people. Accessibility, Navy, come on. 2:18:59 - Love that the rovers get a credit.
We sort of stumbled across this as a bonus - it’s not available on iTunes but Mr C was very excited to see it pop up on Netflix because it was a bit of a trailblazer in terms of CGI. So we embarked on a viewing, and oof, it was good.
Firstly, submarines - yay! Then the whole Armageddon style oddballs trying to save the day. And the added layer of humans trying to decide whether they do the right thing or not, and how much force is acceptable to stop the bad. Having seen the film, I now think the description above doesn’t do it justice at all. It’s not about what the aliens may or may not do, it’s all about the human condition.
I have slightly mixed feelings about the film now having read all the reports about everyone involved, almost literally everyone, hating every minute of it and never wanting to talk about it again. Can I still say that I really enjoyed it and think it’s an undervalued adventure film?