<var id="1j5rh"></var>
<cite id="1j5rh"></cite>
<var id="1j5rh"><strike id="1j5rh"></strike></var><var id="1j5rh"><strike id="1j5rh"><thead id="1j5rh"></thead></strike></var>
<var id="1j5rh"></var>
<cite id="1j5rh"><video id="1j5rh"></video></cite>
<var id="1j5rh"></var><cite id="1j5rh"></cite><var id="1j5rh"></var>
<var id="1j5rh"></var><cite id="1j5rh"><video id="1j5rh"><menuitem id="1j5rh"></menuitem></video></cite><var id="1j5rh"></var>
<var id="1j5rh"><strike id="1j5rh"><thead id="1j5rh"></thead></strike></var>
<var id="1j5rh"></var>
<var id="1j5rh"></var>
×

‘Underwater’: Film Review

Kristen Stewart battles an alien of the deep in a waterlogged thriller that can't come up with one original variation on the movies it's ripping off.

Director:
William Eubank
With:
Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, Gunner Wright.
Release Date:
Jan 10, 2020

Rated PG-13  Running time: 95 MIN.

Official Site: https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/underwater

Before technology took over the movies, a cruddy sci-fi action thriller often looked just as bad as it played. No longer. “Underwater,” a deep-sea knockoff of “Alien” set on a corporate research rig seven miles beneath the surface of the ocean, has been made with the kind of lavish atmospheric precision that, 30 years ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find outside a movie directed by James Cameron. Now, though, even a dregs-of-January throwaway will get slathered in the kind of grand-scale murk and logistical explosiveness that’s meant to excite us, even if the story it’s telling is rudderless junk.

Well, guess what? It doesn’t excite us. “Underwater” is a stupefying entertainment in which every claustrophobic space and apocalyptic crash of water registers as a slick visual trigger, yet it’s all built on top of a dramatic void. It’s boredom in Sensurround.

The film opens with its grabbiest visual effect, which is Kristen Stewart’s hair. It’s been dyed a whiter shade of blonde and cropped so prison-camp short that it’s beyond anything that pretends to look fetching; but that’s what’s supposed to make it cool. Stewart plays Norah, a mechanical engineer who is one of a team of researchers living in an undersea station that consists of long modular passageways that appear as flimsy as an oversize doll’s house. Early on, when water starts crashing through the walls in the wave equivalent of bullet-time, turning the place into a science-lab Titanic that’s already sunk, we experience every jolt and surge, the joints of the structure creaking with a pressure so intense it sounds otherworldly (and, in fact, is). The scale of destruction is undeniably impressive, yet the film already feels waterlogged.

Norah, teaming up with Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), escapes the deluge, and they join forces with half a dozen coworkers from the collapsing facility, all under the leadership of the mission’s captain, played by the Picasso-eyed French character actor Vincent Cassel, who like everyone else in the film has a barely written role, so that even his surly charisma is wasted. The captain comes up with a Hail Mary plan: They will walk along the bottom of the ocean to reach the project’s Roebuck drill station, where they can take shelter and get to the surface. The plan, as laid out, holds very little water, dramatically or as a plausible survival option — it’s just an excuse to get everyone to put on deep-sea diving suits as chunky as refrigerators, and to kill time until the monsters show up.

Popular on Variety

The days when acting in a film like “Underwater” could dim your star belong to the past. Yet watching it, you still think: What’s an actress as classy as Kristen Stewart doing in a potboiler like this? Yes, it’s important to demonstrate you’ve got the right commercial attitude, but when you take on the lead in a movie so listlessly derivative, it tends to be a lose-lose situation, creatively and at the box office. In “Underwater,” Stewart locks herself in terse anxiety mode and never deviates from it. She’s an actress who needs a good script to tap her verbal sharpness, but it’s clear that someone convinced her that “Underwater” would give her the chance to be “just like” Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley (right down to the anti-movie-star coif). But when you’re “just like” a character who’s that iconic, you’re really nowhere at all.

A scene with a darting pink undersea alien fetus is truly unfortunate. Does the film really want to be this much of a carbon copy of “Alien,” given that it’s a thousand times less scary? At the same time, the director, William Eubank, seems to be taking cues from “The Meg,” going for the “size matters” school of monster-jawed menace. The main creature in “Underwater” suggests a jellyfish the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, with rows of teeth that are like something out of “The Nun.” It’s a beast that looks like it could eat an entire underwater station in one bite, even as it’s taking nibbles out of a talented actress’s career.

'Underwater': Film Review

Reviewed at Park Avenue Screening Room, New York, Jan. 6, 2020. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 95 MIN.

Production: A 20th Century Fox release of a TSG Entertainment, Chernin Entertainment production. Producers: Peter Chernin, Tonia Davis, Jenno Topping. Executive producer: Kevin Halloran.  

Crew: Director: William Eubank. Screenplay: Brian Duffield, Adam Cozad. Camera (color, widescreen): Bojan Bazelli. Editors: Brian Berdan, Willliam Hoy, Todd E. Miller. Music: Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts.

With: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, Gunner Wright.

More Film

  • 'Wildland' Review: Sidse Babett Knudsen Is

    'Wildland': Film Review

    After the sudden death of her mother, an introverted teenager is taken in by an estranged female relative, who turns out to be the matriarch of a dangerous criminal family. If the essential logline of Danish director Jeanette Nordahl’s quietly tense debut “Wildland” sounds more than a little familiar, perhaps the same thought occurred to [...]

  • 30West Acquires Stake in U.K.’s Altitude

    30West to Acquire Stake in British Film Company Altitude

    30West is to acquire a significant minority stake in Altitude Media Group, the British film company led by Will Clarke and Andy Mayson. The move marks 30West’s second corporate investment after it took a stake in 2018 in U.S. film distributor Neon, whose Korean film “Parasite” won an Oscar for best picture – the first [...]

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' Cinematographer, Costume Designer on the 'Painterly' 18th-Century Look

    “Painterly” might be an overused term to describe a certain aesthetic of period cinematography, informed by candlelit interiors and sweeping outdoor compositions. But it seizes the essence of French writer-director Céline Sciamma’s deeply feminist 18th-century gay romance set on the coast of Brittany, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” which debuted in theaters on Valentine’s [...]

  • 'Malmkrog' Review

    'Malmkrog': Film Review

    Since Cristi Puiu’s “Malmkrog” means to drown the viewer in a dense and arcane philosophical debate about Good and Evil, the nature of Christ, Europe and the direction of History, let’s add another strand to the discussion: how is cinema put to best use? It’s an especially pertinent question since Puiu’s always stunning use of [...]

  • Onward Animated Film 2020

    'Onward': Film Review

    Later this year  — Nov. 19, 2020, to be exact — will mark the 25th anniversary of the premiere of “Toy Story,” the first feature from Pixar. In 1995, that movie launched the digital-animation revolution, a paradigm shift that Pixar, for a long time, more or less owned. Yet as the company’s innovations evolved into [...]

  • Joel Edgerton

    Joel Edgerton to Star in True Crime Thriller 'The Unknown Man,' Alongside Sean Harris

    Joel Edgerton, whose credits include “Loving,” “Boy Erased” and “The King,” has signed on to star in and co-produce the See-Saw Films and Anonymous Content true crime thriller “The Unknown Man.” Rocket Science, in partnership with See-Saw’s in-house sales division Cross City Films, will launch the project at the European Film Market in Berlin. Written [...]

  • PAW Patrol

    'PAW Patrol' Animated Movie in the Works

    PAW Patrol is on a roll! The popular Nickelodeon animated series is coming to the big screen. The Paramount film, directed by animation veteran Cal Brunker, whose credits include “Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” and “Escape From Planet Earth,” hits theaters in August 2021. Spin Master Entertainment’s executive vice president Jennifer Dodge will produce [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content

欧美牲交a欧美牲交aⅴ