Where’d you park the car?

Theatrical Release Date: 02/04/2011
Director: Alister Grierson
Cast: Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie, Allison Cratchley, Cramer Cain


I’ve got a bad feeling about this …

I’m one of the few people who contend that “Avatar’s” 3D wasn’t all that special. Granted, I did not see the IMAX 3D but nevertheless, for all the bluster and hoopla, I expected more than a few scenes of perceived depth and a great prison cell that really showed off the technology.

Well, James Cameron wasn’t behind the camera this time around (Alister Grierson was calling ‘action’) but his expensive toys and producing muscle are behind this week’s cave exploring adventure, “Sanctum”; and to my slight surprise, I’m actually recommending people see this in 3D … if they see this at all that is.

For all of it’s technical wizardry, the bottom line is that there’s nothing special about the film itself. It’s a ridiculously formulaic script, so predictable that once the characters are placed in mortal jeopardy, I weep for anyone who couldn’t guess the order in which everyone will die. Also, the female gender gets set back about forty years because the decisions and hysterics of the two main women in the cast are borderline offensive.

Then there’s the acting. Umm … well, no there’s not. Between the aforementioned script and a director seeming more concerned with how to make each turn more life threatening than the last (but failing to do so), it almost seems unfair to bag on the acting. But whether it was due to the actor, the script, the director, or some combination thereof, I’m fairly certain I laughed every time someone died … of course, I’m a heartless bastard but you’d think at least one of the deaths would shut me up, right?

The best bits of the film come early on, when things are calm and we get to see some beautiful landscapes and cave shots. Once things go south, so too does the beauty of this spectacular setting. Had this been a documentary about exploring caves, the grandeur of the experience and the good 3D would not have been wasted.

I suppose if you’re trying to scare someone off from caving, you could bring them to this film. However, “Sanctum” ONLY works because of cinema’s latest technological fad and shouldn’t be attempted any other way. As a film, it get’s a 2.5 out of 5. With those special glasses, it creeps closer to a passing rating but only just. If all you’re interested in is seeing mostly effective 3D, then I get it but I also wouldn’t fault you for choosing a matinee screening to help keep costs down. (I bet it looks better in true IMAX, but San Diego doesn’t have any theaters capable of this so don’t bother – a nice, big screen will suffice).

2.5 out of 53D Yes