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Underwater Movie Review - Relentless Pace, Old Story

Deep sea action/monster film is entertaining retread.

Reviewed by on Jan 09, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews an IMAX version of the undersea Kristen Stewart monster actioner Underwater. Its good cast, fast pace and monster mayhem will entertain despite some old story material.

In Underwater, Kristen Stewart plays mechanical engineer Norah who is living in a research drilling facility at the bottom of the seven mile deep Mariana Trench. She rescues a stray spider and we like her already. She tells us that living like this is timeless. Suddenly there are alarms, leaks then boom!... a huge breach and water is everywhere.

Can Norah survive?Can Norah survive?Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Norah, with fellow worker Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), survives but a door has to be closed on other workers. Finally, the duo finds Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel) who has elected to stay behind after launching crew members in escape pods. Was this an earthquake or….what? His idea to don pressure suits and walk to a far-away station to safety sounds…crazy.

Underwater Movie Trailer

 

Norah Leads

Norah goes about the underwater station bathroom brushing her teeth and telling us that she is cynical. This isn’t helped by living several miles down at the lowest point on Earth. When noises, alarms and water leaks send her running, she finds a co-worker Rodrigo and, after crawling through debris and dead bodies, they find a live one. He is Paul (T.J. Miller). Together they head for escape pod bays while time is running out. Inside the pod bay is their captain who has launched workers in all the pods. No pods are left. Also left behind are Emily (Jessica Henwick), Liam Smith (John Gallagher Jr.) and Lee (Gunner Wright).

Norah and her CaptainNorah and her CaptainCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

A Crazy Plan

The Captain convinces everyone to don pressure suits, go to the ocean floor and walk to the actual drill site called “Roebuck” where they should be safe and find more pods. With their station collapsing around them, and weird noises against the hull, they have to agree.

The crew listens to the Captain's crazy ideaThe crew listens to the Captain's crazy ideaCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

A recording from one site sounds like something big…growling.  Once everyone is inside an elevator to the bottom, Rodrigo’s helmet is cracked and he..implodes, freaking out Emily especially. On the bottom they follow a pod distress call only to find some kind of small-ish creature eating the inhabitant. New species?

Is this strange creature a new species?Is this strange creature a new species?Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Walk

Once on the bottom after dodging falling parts of their doomed station, the five crew members think they see something watching them as they start their walk, ending up riding a small “car” in an underwater tunnel toward their destination.. They have to get out and walk the tunnel in high water and Paul is grabbed by something and literally sucked out of his suit!

Six crewmates will walk across the ocean floorSix crewmates will walk across the ocean floorCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

More things we can’t quite see attack. After more weird encounters, the group reaches a midway station where they re-group and breathe a bit. Who will make it to the final drilling station and what is waiting for our heroes when they get there? How many creatures are there and are there any escape pods left to help survivors to the surface?

Emily proves her worthEmily proves her worthCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Wrapping Up

Fast-paced from the beginning and never letting up, Underwater provides various challenges with nothing repeating and you are taken along. Acting is good and Kristen Steward proves again (after the new Charlie’s Angels) that she can be an action heroine with a commanding screen presence.

Kristen Stewart shinesKristen Stewart shinesCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Although well-directed, the movie suffers from the use of familiar material. It’s a combo of Alien and The Abyss. The funny guy in Cameron’s The Abyss had a pet rat that he took everywhere… this funny guy has a stuffed animal bunny, etc. etc.

The Captain stayed behindThe Captain stayed behindCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

I noticed that sound effects are really good and serve to further build tension. The creatures are seen only gradually until we see the whole monster (s) and they are weird and convincing.  I also like that the women characters are capable and save themselves as well as save or attempt to save some guys along the way.

Emily and NorahEmily and NorahCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Underwater might appear familiar but it is still unique enough and certainly moves along quickly enough to hold your interest. A good grab-your-date flick or a fun outing with besties. We go four stars.

Underwater Movie Rating: 4

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

See Underwater in theaters now.

What Do You Think?

Could you be an undersea adventurer? Do you think creatures we don’t know about could live in the depths of our oceans? Do you like Kristen Steward as an action hero? Dive in and tell everyone what you think by leaving a comment!

 

By: Lynn Barker