From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sanctum 3D - C-

Rated R for language, some violence and disturbing images, 109 minutes

Cave exploration thriller "Sanctum" comes up short

The new 3D thriller "Sanctum" is very fortunate to have Oscar-winning director James Cameron's name above the top as an executive producer. He may change his mind after he sees the flat, disappointing film that's inspired by true events. Some of the action sequences are OK, but everything else - the story, acting, dialogue and special effects - are second-rate at best.

Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team - including 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield) and financier Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffuld) - are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

"Sanctum" is an unsatisfying, predictable 3D ride that definitely isn't worth it and seems a lame excuse to set up the cave sequences. The weak, weak story and unmemorable direction from newcomer Alister Grierson make this thriller a huge disappointment if you're expecting Cameron's size first-rate effects. Instead, the effects are second-rate, at best, and while some of the action sequences keep things moving, it ultimately becomes too predictable and unrevealing.

The story, based on the real experiences of the film's writer, Andrew Wright, it falters in its storytelling and presenting any shaded characters. The cave walls are far more memorable, but after while you come to know what to expect. As for the 3D, it also disappoints considerably, making "Sanctum" definitely not worth your movie dollar this weekend.