Sanctum is a low-IQ adventure movie, inspired by true-life events.
Think of it as the seriously dumbed-down, under-water version of 127 Hours.
Here a motley crew of cave divers are trapped in Esa? Ala in Papua New Guinea, which is one of the largest cave systems in the world.
When a storm floods the caves, the divers are forced to dive deeper into the maze to find their way to the surface. It?s an incredible story told with the finesse of a comic book.
The characters are strictly one-note, the plot is predictable; the acting is, at best, awkward and the dialogue is laughably bad.
So characters say lines like: Life is not a dress rehearsal, you?ve got to seize the day and you understand, no matter what happens, you never give up.
Of course in a film like this, you can overlook clunky writing if the visuals are spectacular. Sanctum, which has been co-produced by James Cameron and shot using the same photography techniques as Avatar, has a few impressive sequences.
Each time the divers go through a narrow passage, director Alister Grierson effectively creates a sense of claustrophobia. In places, the caves have a haunting majesty. But mostly, the film is dark and monotonous and 3D doesn?t add much to the experience.
I suspect a documentary of the same events would have had a far greater impact because at least you wouldn?t be cheerfully waiting for annoying characters to die. See it if you must.