With James Cameron listed as executive producer, the square-jawed, cartoonish machismo and casual sadism of Sanctum comes as little surprise. What is a surprise is that this lazily written, lifeless film was deemed worthy of theatrical release.
The movies failure is no small accomplishment considering its premise: a cyclone traps a small group of underwater cave divers working through a cavern system in Papua New Guinea. With their exit route cut off, the team must work its way through the water and dark terrain, hoping to find an outlet to the ocean. Its like The Poseidon Adventure minus the quirky characters, panache and thrill-ride amusements.
Besides Camerons name, the marketing push behind Sanctum has focused on its use of the same 3D camera system used on Avatar. The results on the screen dont justify the hype.
Sanctums 3D has the unintended effect of making scenes that should be breathtaking look like miniatures dropped into a diorama. Its all very crisp and very visually disorienting.