Sunday, 27 February 2011



Dir: Alister Grierson (Kokoda)
Cast: Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie
USA/Australia, 2011

Seen: February 5, 2011 in 3D!

Reason to see: Water films are a must-see for me

I'm being totally honest when I say I saw Sanctum because it's a water film. Any film with a lot of blue in it, be it a water films or a submarines film or a space film or some kind of arty film, I will see it. I had an oddly aligned love for blue-centric films.

Blue-ness aside, Sanctum is an adventure/thriller that pairs cave diving with disaster. I liked how it has an adventurous spirit but also heart of realness to extreme adventuring, and that it brings a range of characters from business to worker folk, family to friends. It's not hard to keep people straight at all, as the film does tend to over-broadcast the characters at times which is a little too bad as although it is an adventure, connecting with the characters here is key. I did find that connection still came pretty easily though, and our protagonist is Josh (Rhys Wakefield), the skilled but not-interested son of Frank (Richard Roxburgh) the man running the show of finding a path through the underwater caverns. But, the money man here is actually Carl (Ioan Gruffudd) who brings along his girlfriend Victoria (Alice Parkinson) for the water ride. This sets up lots of dynamics that work well in to drive the suspense and story of the film.

The visuals are an huge highlight of the film, with gorgeous underwater and cave shots that we wonderous and awe inspiring. I get such a thrill seeing films that are actually shot on location! I did find that at certain moment we were building up to a big beautiful reveal shot... and then didn't get it, which was a slight disappointment. What wasn't a disappointment was that I was actually able to see a fair amount of the 3D, which is something I usually only get mere glimpses of in films but for some reason this time I saw lots which was so unexpected and exciting, even if it was just someone walking in front of the camera. Yes, it's a little silly - but it's also the truth!

Overall, it's an adventure film at heart that pulls together suspense and survival instinct. It's thrill range from pure adrenaline to hard choices. I appreciated that that if posed some serious questions but wasn't preachy. I enjoyed the characters and it was often gorgeous to look at. Although I could easily list off some things that weren't quite perfect about the film, I'd much rather just sit back and watch it again for the enjoyable entertainment value it delivers.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it a lot
I'll buy it
I recommend it to fans of adventure films and survival films

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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