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Sanctum is an enjoyable if formulaic James Cameron-affiliated film (3 stars)

Inventive despite slunky dialogue and sentimental father-son aspects

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Sanctum is an enjoyable if formulaic James Cameron-affiliated film

(15) 108min

Unsurprisingly, executive producer James Cameron gets above-the-title billing for this Australia-set action/adventure which brings together the Avatar director’s obsession with 3D technology and his fascination with underwater adventures (Cameron made The Abyss). It’s a shame for director Alister Grierson that this is so, as he should get more credit for making an enjoyable if formulaic film.

A team of cave divers, led by the overbearing Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh), goes on a treacherous expedition to the least accessible unexplored cave system on Earth. A tropical storm leaves them trapped in the cave with not enough supplies and no guarantee of a way out to the Pacific Ocean. On the expedition are McGuire’s rebellious 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield), financier Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd), his girlfriend Victoria (Alice Parkinson) and Crazy George (Dan Wyllie). Clunky dialogue and sentimental father-son aspects are the downside of the group dynamic. Loosely based on the true story of an expedition made in 1988 by producer Andrew Wight. Everyone survived on that adventure; here the death count is upped at every inventive and surprising turn.

General release, Fri 4 Feb.

Sanctum

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • US/Australia
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alister Grierson
  • Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Richard Roxburgh, Alice Parkinson

Australia-set action/adventure which brings together Avatar director Cameron's obsession with 3D technology and his fascination with underwater adventures in one enjoyable, if formulaic, package.

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