Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Abyss (1989)

Synopsis: Undersea divers go deeper than Shirley MacLean on a bad acid trip.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “When divers from a deep-sea oil rig are called in to help with the rescue of a nuclear submarine, their perilous mission becomes a wondrous odyssey into the unknown after they make contact with a mysterious force living on the ocean floor.”

What Did I Learn?: If you wish to re-start somebody’s heart from extreme hypothermia, none of your efforts will succeed until you scream a pep talk into their ear.

You Might Like This Movie If: You love the idea of being surrounded by water.

Really?: So wait...the good guys are deep-sea drillers for a multi-national oil company, and the villains are Navy SEALS who go nutso underwater?

Rating: The Abyss is a solid science fiction-action-thriller, with great special effects, genuine suspense and good performances from Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, but especially from Michael Biehn as the insane SEAL team leader. My complaints would be that the film is far too long (171 minutes!),  and the conflict within it is based on the dubious notion of a Navy SEAL cracking under the pressure of a deep-sea dive. It's a good movie that could have used a re-write and some editing. 7.5/10 stars.

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