Movie #313 2020: Underwater (2020)

Remember cinemas? Well, this was one of the last films they were able to show before Lockdown 1, so let’s take a quick look at it and see whether or not it was worth the precious screen time it was awarded.

Taking place entirely underwater (surprise), Underwater is set in what one would assume is the near future, when earthlings have built huge, deep sea stations to conduct scientific research. Think space stations but with marine life. Disaster strikes when their rig is hit by an earthquake, rendering it useless. Six researchers who have survived the natural disaster form a bond, and their once innocent expedition now becomes a race for survival.

First off, who’s doing Kristen Stewart’s hair down there? Guess they have a crew hairstylist. Very off-putting.

What any sci-fi/futuristic movie needs is some decent cinematography, and perhaps surprisingly, there are some pretty shots within this. The sets are fully realised too, but overall there’s nothing new here. In short, we’ve seen it all before. This time it just has a relatively big name at the helm to draw in a crowd.

To put that last statement into more context, the best thing about Underwater is the sound mixing. It almost feels like if the sound mixing is the best thing about your film then it must be incredibly average… And average it is.

For a movie that has quite a heavy dose of action and gore in it, it’s somehow an extremely boring ninety-something minutes. Poorly paced with a distinctly average over-arching plot, it’s almost as if Alien and Arrival conceived a disappointing, under-performing son. 

One has to admit that the performances in this are quite good, especially from Stewart. While the script isn’t exactly realistic or special in any way, the actors do well with the huge amount of “meh” they are given. And trust me, it’s a HUGE amount.

It’s easy to see that a lot of technical effort went into making this, so I don’t want to trash it too much… But it’s impeccably average in overall effect on a budget that was much higher than that of Arrival

Basically what I’m saying is… Watch Arrival instead. Thank me later.

Underwater is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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