The Abyss

Posted: 01/03/2010 in film, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Last night Alex and I settled down to watch The Abyss for the first time, and after seeing it Alex neatly summed up the experience as “2 hours and 40 mins we wouldn’t be getting back anytime soon”. Oh Cameron you suckered us in again! That’s almost 9hrs he’s swizzled out of us in the form of Titanic, Avatar and The Abyss.

I always avoided The Abyss because it came out when I was at my most fearful of all things aquatic but after seeing Avatar I thought it would be cool to watch some vintage Cameron to balance out the banality of the blue CGI Na’vi.  I remember all the hoopla from when The Abyss was release in 1989, and over the years I’ve apparently made a whole bunch of assumptions about the plot. But, I was not alone because Alex had made the same assumptions. We both thought the story was centered on the water aliens and the explorers who were sent to investigate them (okay so there may have been some Sphere leakage).  But there was barely any alien action and I felt like I was trapped in a fraught counseling session of a bickering couple about to go supernova. Oh and what was up with the Seals and Michael Biehn’s mustache and melodramatic facial expressions? I thought you weren’t meant to wear a diving mask if you had facial hair – or is that an urban (or oceanic) myth?

So I was really disappointed with The Abyss (sorry it just didn’t ring my bell, and it didn’t help that it was another film of the 80s where a couple were divorcing because the wife had ambition) but I was really impressed with the whole shooting underwater. It must have been one arduous shoot, and acting in a wet suit must have been problematic but they did a good job of relaying emotion (baring Biehn’s crazy eyes). It made me think of Greek theatre and actors trying to act with big masks on.

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