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Underwater (2020)

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We have about 30 minutes till meltdown.
And, uh, it’s gonna blow us into tiny pieces to the surface.

 

Am I a Kristen Stewart fan? On the contrary. To be honest, I seriously dislike this actress. Not that her acting is so terribly bad. And in a way, she’s not a bad looking young woman either. But her attitude and facial expression don’t really make her amiable. In the past I’ve already mentioned that her phlegmatic character equals that of a pancake and it seems as if her face was drenched in starch, because of her emotionless look. “Personal Shopper” and “Equals” were suitable films for this “always-seriously-looking” actress. Unfortunately, “Personal Shopper” was terribly boring and sleep-inducing. So, what convinced me to watch the movie “Underwater“? No idea. Maybe because I heard this spectacle film was kind of a mixture of “Alien” and “The Abyss”. In retrospect, this fact was also rather disappointing.

 

Underwater

 

It’s an ordinary dish.

You can compare “Underwater” with a classic dish served in an average brasserie. It smells good and tastes delicious, but it lacks the finesse of a star restaurant. You don’t get excited. And you don’t look disappointed at your empty plate, hoping that a waiter comes over and asks if you want an extra portion. The only feeling left is that of recognizability. Haven’t we seen this before? And didn’t it taste the same as the last time?

 

Underwater

 

Is it an earthquake? Nope.

I have to admit the film continues at a blistering pace. Before you realize it, the entire underwater drilling platform collapses and Norah (Kristen Stewart) must hurry through destroyed corridors and debris-filled compartments. A claustrophobic spectacle that takes place seven miles deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known spot in the ocean. At first glance, it appears to be an undersea earthquake that causes Norah and some survivors to figure out an escape scenario very quickly. But when they step along the ocean floor, in heavy, futuristic-looking wetsuits (“Pacific Rim” inspired gear), it soon becomes clear that it’s something else that’s attacking them. Once again, it’s humanity that pushed the boundaries. Like the speleologists in “The Silence“, the drilling company most likely is the cause of unearthly creatures surfacing. In short, they have tapped into the wrong source while drilling for raw materials.

 

Underwater

 

Lot’s of action.

I myself had that feeling of breathlessness while watching “Underwater”. When you realize that this crew is surrounded by millions of tons of ocean water that presses on them with crushing force, you wouldn’t want to trade places with them for any money in the world. A stumbling walk through pitch-black darkness, knowing that you could run out of oxygen anytime, your pressure suit could implode due to a construction fault or a strange underwater monster sucking the life out of you in a fraction of a second. I’d hyperventilate and show panicky behavior for less. “Underwater” is a suitable film for viewers who prefer to watch a movie that is packed with persistent action scenes. So preferably, no character development or a sophisticated storyline that’s being built up in a subtle way. In short, for fans of fast food chains and fast microwave meals (Indeed, I am quite culinary-inspired today).

 

Underwater

 

Lack of tension.

Although you can admire a multitude of fantastic underwater footage (and making underwater images is no easy task), the fact it all takes place underwater (hence the film-title) is a disadvantage to the film. The images aren’t really clear and most of the time blurred and hazy. Especially during the vigorous moments when the sea monsters play an important role. Thus, the moments when the crew experienced a life-threatening situation, the footage didn’t have the desired impact most of the time. And that was the biggest turnoff for me. The lack of any tension. It’s not a completely boring film, but there wasn’t really nail-biting suspense. No astonishing plot twists or surprises. In addition, none of the actors really stood out. They were all uninteresting, two-dimensional characters, to say the least. I can’t really call “Underwater” impressive. Even Kirsten Stewart’s ultra-short bleached haircut didn’t have the desired shock effect. And to be honest, it didn’t help that she walked around half of the movie in her underwear. If they had chosen Scarlett Johansson instead, it would have made an impression. In that case, the three-dimensional aspect of the character Norah would come across much better! Significantly better!

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Netflix | Night Teeth – Official Trailer

A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions – and their dangerous, shadowy underworld – he must fight to stay alive.



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Genre:

Action, Crime, Drama

Release Date:

October 20, 2021

Director:

Adam Randall

Cast:

Sydney Sweeney, Megan Fox, Alexander Ludwig

Plot Summary:

A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions – and their dangerous, shadowy underworld – he must fight to stay alive.

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Matrix: Resurrections | Official Trailer – COMING THURSDAY

The Matrix: Resurrections is an upcoming American science fiction action film produced, co-written, and directed by Lana Wachowski. It is the fourth installment in The Matrix film series.



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Genre:

Action, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 22, 2021

Director:

Lana Wachowski

Cast:

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris

Plot Summary:

The Matrix: Resurrections is an upcoming American science fiction action film produced, co-written, and directed by Lana Wachowski. It is the fourth installment in The Matrix film series.

FULL TRAILER COMING THIS THURSDAY!

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review

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It’s crazy to think that Marvel Studios went the whole of 2020 in complete silence with no new releases and now Marvel are back in 2021 with a huge bang. Three TV shows in, part way through another, and now we’ve reached film number two of the four big screen superhero shenanigans Marvel have in store for us in 2021. Even though Avengers: Endgame was the big conclusion for Marvel in 2019, if Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is anything to go by, they show no sign of stopping.



Shang-Chi introduces the first Asian superhero to the big screen and actor Simu Liu absolutely smashes it as the character. It’s like Liu was born to play this role. Immediately it’s clear as day that Liu is the perfect person to play the role and within his first few scenes, he slots into the Marvel universe so well and has so much personality to him.

When we first meet Liu, he’s known as Shaun and working as a valet parking guy at a fancy hotel with his friend Katy (Awkwafina). The two are enjoying their ordinary lives in San Francisco when suddenly Shaun is ambushed on the bus by a bunch of men in an attempt to steal the pendant he wears around his neck. What follows is a dazzling spectacle as Shaun fights off the bad guys. Shang-Chi boasts some of the MCU’s most impressive action sequences to date as the camera flies around the bus in an electrifying manner, highlighting the excellent fight choreography.

Shaun, who reveals to Katy that his real name is actually Shang-Chi must confront his past as he travels to Macau in search of his sister Xialing where he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious organisation known as the Ten Rings. He must face his father Wenwu, played by Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, who possesses the legendary Ten Rings.

Set after the blip and the events of Infinity War and Endgame, the film sees director Destin Daniel Cretton inject a whole lot of freshness and originality into the MCU in what’s one of the best Marvel solo films to date and does a fantastic job of introducing the new character of Shang-Chi to audiences. There are of course some links and ties to the other films, especially since this isn’t the first time we’ve come across the Ten Rings. Fans will recognise the name and remember the organisation from the Iron Man films. However, Shang-Chi largely stands on its own and it doesn’t rely on the rest of the MCU to make it a really good film. It does that all by itself.



Shang-Chi feels very different to the usual Marvel fare- at least in the first half of the film. The action scenes are all incredible and so superbly choreographed. There’s one scene in particular that takes place on scaffolding hundreds of feet above Macau that’s absolutely thrilling to watch and is one of the best action scenes of all the Marvel films. As well as impressive action, the film’s very funny too. Awkwafina’s Katy provides a lot of the comic relief and the chemistry between her and Liu is great making their two characters stand out.

But beyond the action and the humour there are interesting and compelling characters in Shang-Chi. There’s a central struggle between Shang-Chi and his father Wenwu and even though the MCU has had its fair share of daddy issues from Thanos to Ego the Living Planet and Howard Stark, the relationship between Shang-Chi and Wenwu feels gripping and unlike some of the other father-son struggles the MCU has given us.

However, where the film falls down is the final act. It slips away from the fun and entertaining antics we saw in the first hour in favour of a generic, grey, dull CGI fest. Shang-Chi would be top-tier Marvel if it managed to stick the landing and get the ending right but unfortunately the final act is a bit of a bloated mess. It’s not awful and the film as a whole is still in Marvel’s top ten and but it loses so much of what made it different and fun to watch when it resorts back to the basic superhero film climax with a load of CGI taking place in a dull, grey location.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a really enjoyable superhero showdown that does a great job of introducing a new hero into the MCU despite being brought down by a flat and slightly dull finale. Simu Liu shines in the role leaving you itching to see more of him with post credits scenes (there are two) teasing that this certainly won’t be the only time we see Shang-Chi. Marvel once again prove they know exactly how to make a great comic book film.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings releases only in cinemas on September 3rd.

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