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DVD Review: Sanctum

Posted on June 7th, 2011

by Jenny Jones

Ever since his parent’s divorce when he was very young, Josh has only seen his father once a year during the 2 months of summer vacation. During all of these father/son visits Josh was dragged along on his father’s latest extreme sporting conquests. Although Master cave explorer Frank Maguire may be known throughout the world for his exploration of some of the most remote locations on the planet, Josh has never taken the time to truly get to know his father and try to understand why it is that his dad chose to explore caves instead of raising his son. But when a tropical storm traps him underground with his famous dad, Josh is finally forced to gets to know the man that has been a stranger for the last 17 years. Miles underground in a cave that is rapidly filling with river water, Josh and his father put all of their past issues behind them and finally work together as they struggle for their freedom.

Based on true events, this movie has a riveting story and boasts some of the most picturesque landscapes and underwater scenery ever captured on film. It’s musical score was fantastic and even the acting, although there were no big Hollywood stars in the cast, was not that bad. So why did I feel bored throughout the entire film? Sanctum has skydiving, rock climbing and deep underwater cave exploration. There was action from beginning to end. The Papua New Guinea mountains, forests and caves were a beauty almost unparalleled and the underwater footage drew me in and made me feel as though I was right down in those deep, dark, damp places with the characters. And yet, with all of it’s good qualities, I still did not enjoy this movie. I felt nothing for the characters and there was absolutely no sense of intrigue or suspense. It almost felt too predictable as well, although most true stories usually do.

If you love the outdoors and extreme sporting then perhaps you will be able to better relate to this cast of characters and their setting. I was unable to sympathize with them and I strongly disliked the actors playing Josh (played by Rhys Wakefield) and his controlling father, Frank Maguire (played by Richard Roxburgh). Sanctum is not a movie I will be rewatching but it is definitely worth seeing once.


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