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Underwater Is an Exciting Action Film That Is Anything but All Wet

Robert J. Sodaro is an American born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist, who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

Underwater

Kristen Stewart travels 7 miles under the ocean.

Kristen Stewart travels 7 miles under the ocean.

Credits

Underwater: RatedPG-13(1 hours, 35 Minutes)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr.

Director: William Eubank

First a bit of a back story...

If, when this trailer first dropped, you (as did this reviewer) thought “Oh, look, it’s Alien but, you know, under water.” You wouldn’t be far wrong (or, well, alone in thinking that). It also wouldn’t be the first time that someone thought to do a version of Alien under water, back in ‘89 both Leviathan and Deepstar Six hit the Silver Screen. While both had the feel of the Alien film (from ’79), neither of them quite lived up to the raw emotional impact of that earlier film (although we did like Leviathan which was fun in its own right).

Kristen Stewart Rules!

Kristen Stewart plays a mechanical engineer working the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Keppler 822 Station.

Kristen Stewart plays a mechanical engineer working the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Keppler 822 Station.

Underwater is NOT Alien!

Now, while the same could be said for Underwater (that it is essentially an Alien knockoff) it is actually a much better film than either of those underwater predecessors. The reason for this is that this film is more than just “just another” Alien knock-off, as it combines elements of other “creature” films…but we’ll get to that nugget of info in just a bit.

Earthquake!

Water, water everywhere

Water, water everywhere

Underwater is so NOT Alien!

Now, while the same could be said for Underwater (that it is essentially an Alien knockoff) it is actually a much better film than either of those underwater predecessors. The reason for this is that this film is more than just “just another” Alien knock-off, as it combines elements of other “creature” films…but we’ll get to that nugget of info in just a bit.

How bad is my rig?

Assessing the damage and considering the options

Assessing the damage and considering the options

Expect the unexpected

Here, in this incarnation, a company, Tian Industries, has constructed a massive drilling operation, seven miles below the surface of the ocean — at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench. As the film opens, we spend just a few minutes as several members of the crew descend to the company’s Kepler 822 Station. Then, as they are settling in, a massive earthquake hits the station, causing a section of the station to suffer a catastrophic breach from the pressure. The quake collapses much of the station, killing most of the 100+ members of the crew, trapping the rest in what is left of the main section of the station.

Gearing up

Apparently no one can hear you scream underwater either!

Apparently no one can hear you scream underwater either!

Time to make our escape

Norah Price (Kristen Stewart), a mechanical engineer, and Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie) are the only two able to escape the breached section, escape the damaged area and close it off, temporarily preventing further damage to the Kepler. As they are digging their way out of the damaged area, they manage to rescue Paul (T.J. Miller) on their way to the escape pod bay. However, upon arrival, the three discover that all the escape pods have already been deployed, with the station’s Captain, Lucien (Vincent Cassel), being the only person in the area when the three arrive.

Underwater, Official Trailer

Time for a walk

Ultimately, only a handful of survivors exist, and they determine that the only way for them, to descend to the ocean floor, leave the station, then trek across a plateau to a second facility where they will reach another means of escaping in a robot ship. As can be expected, even the best of plans goes awry, and one-by-one, as various members of the surviving crew meet with various horrific ends as their suits fail, accidents occur, and well, the creatures from the deep emerge to demonstrate their ire for haven been awakened from the deep by the drilling operation.

Time to escape

A lot like space, but underwater...

A lot like space, but underwater...

All-in-all, a good, suspenseful story

So, what we have presented to us, is just over an hour-and-a-half-plus runtime of this film is a genuinely taut thriller that causes the viewer to not only cringe throughout as we actually care about the characters on-screen but manages to do so without resorting to “gotcha” jumps. Yeah, yeah, we knew at the start of this thing that people would die (in groups or one-by-one), but even we were ultimately surprised by who went and who remained (seriously, the ending will totally surprise you — it did us). Also, we were totally taken with Kristen Stewart’s character in this film.

Time to go

We need to walk underwater to survive

We need to walk underwater to survive

Oh yes, and there are Kaiju!

Yes, you read that right — we were totally taken with Kristen Stewart’s character in this film (and for the record, we also enjoyed her in Charlie’s Angels as well, and yes, you read that correctly as well). Here, she is smart, sassy, and thoroughly competent; in fact, her character (Norah) is the underwater station’s chief tech, and quite possibly the most knowledgeable person on the station. (Yeah, that was also something of a shock to us). Needless to say, we did very much enjoy this film (more than we could have anticipated) and feel that it got a bad rap at the box office, and it should have been better received, as it is really a good film. We even enjoyed the (not so subtle) Kaiju reference towards the end. (Ya gotta watch it to see what we’re saying here.)

See, we told you it wasn't Alien!

For what it's worth, the film is more Godzilla than Alien. Just sayin'.

For what it's worth, the film is more Godzilla than Alien. Just sayin'.

Look for it on streaming services

So, while we know that the film is currently long out of the theaters by now (unfortunately, it didn’t last long) we strongly advise all’y’all to check it out now that it is on several streaming services, like HBO, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. You’ll be glad you did (trust us).

Underwater (DVD)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Robert J Sodaro

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