review by Bobby Blakey
I love a good disaster movie, but when you double down and add something more sinister to the mix it offers up the chance to deliver magic. The latest, Underwater starring Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick, Mamoudou Athie, and Gunner Wright from The Signal director William Eubank looks to attempt to bring something unique to the genre or will it sink to the bottom of the ocean?
Underwater follows a crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory, but the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear. I was never a big Stewart fan, but more recently after a few interviews she has grown on me as she has finally come into her own. While I wasn’t a big fan of her recent Charlie’s Angels film I loved her in it. Now she is stepping into a completely different type of film here that after the first trailer I was instantly interested in.
While I did enjoy the film it isn’t without its issues. The story itself is simple and wastes no time kicking right into high gear, but slows down almost just as fast. Some night find this films story and overall tone familiar as it is essentially Alien underwater and for me that wasn’t a bad thing. Where it lost me at times was in the pacing as it gets pretty slow sometimes and I know they were likely trying to build tension, but it just didn’t always succeed. When it does work it was great and delivered something that felt fresh and new despite being familiar ground.
Stewart and the rest of the cast are good with all of them having to keep it pretty subtle when not fighting for their lives so there isn’t really anytime or situations where you get fully invested in them, but you don’t need to for this story. Instead it’s about seeing who and if any of them are going to survive what they are up
against. The dangers of the underwater locale alone could have made for a stressful flick but add a creature to the mix and you are in for a ride. Sadly most of the heavy creature stuff is in the last half of the movie outside of a few moments, but they are still fun nonetheless.
While not as scary or successful as I had hoped, this film still worked and for the overall cinematography alone is work checking out. The dark underwater backdrop is one that makes for stressful and fear inducing experience that keeps you guessing to what is coming next. I hope Stewart keeps pushing forward with these variety of roles as she is getting even better every time and once again shines here in a film that works, but just needed a little something more.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, deleted scene, extended scenes, an alternate ending and numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this film to life. Head miles below the ocean and grab your copy of Underwater available now on digital, Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.