Thursday, July 7, 2011
Sanctum (Alister Grierson, 2011) -- D-
Less than five minutes into Sanctum, a James Cameron produced cinematic virus, cave-diving financier asshole Carl (Ioan Gruffudd) cockily states: “As soon as I leave, the whole thing turns into a Mongolian clusterfuck.” If that line isn't enough to make your hand start creeping towards the remote for that fast-forward button, then surely the nature chants (immediate recalling Avatar's grating score), petty bickering between indistinguishable crew members, and wholly trite and transparent narrative concerns will. Comparing this with something like Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, there's nary a moment of unsentimental meditation, much less introspection. Just hokey, ever-so-thinly drawn dramatics. Director Alister Grierson earns that title by credit only, shoddily constructing even a remote sense of suspense or natural wonderment; for the man who supposedly lived something close to these events, he directs with little assurance or guidance, recycling hollow adventure film cliches, and failing to provide a single concern outside of his protagonists' survival. To call this drivel third rate would be kind.