The Abyss
Genre: Action & Adventure    Year: 1989    Country:
IMDB Rating: 4.0 (345 votes)
Director: James Cameron    Studio: 20th Century Fox
Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester, Todd Graff
Summary: Meticulously crafted but also ponderous and predictable, James Cameron's 1989 deep-sea close-encounter epic reaffirms one of the oldest first principles of cinema: everything moves a lot more slowly underwater. Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some "issues" to work out, are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL (Michael Biehn) with a top-secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on earth, and the petro-techies have the only submersible craft capable of diving down that far. Every image and every performance is painstakingly sharp and detailed (and the computerized water creatures are lovely) but the movie's lumbering pace is ultimately lethal. It's the audience that ends up feeling waterlogged. For a guy who likes guns as much as Cameron (his next film after all, was the body-count masterpiece "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"), it's interesting that the moral balance here is weighted heavily in favor of the can-do engineers; the military types are end-justifies-the-means amoralists, just like the weasely government bureaucrats in "Aliens". "--David Chute"

Close