Thursday, September 22, 2016

Submerged (2015)

Number Rolled: 43
Movie Name/Year: Submerged (2015)
Tagline: You can’t scream and hold your breath at the same time.
Genre: Thriller
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Twisted Pictures
Producer: R. Andru, Kim Bailey, Robert Ogden Barnum, William Clevinger, Cassian Elwes, Cynthia Guidry, Lainie Guidry, Duane Journey, Crad Kaplan, Tiffany Kuzon, Scott Milam, Todd Williams
Director: Steven C. Miller
Writer: Scott Milam
Actors: Jonathan Bennett, Talulah Riley, Rosa Salazar, Samuel Hunt, Cody Christian, Giles Matthey, Denzel Whitaker, Willa Ford, Mario Van Peebles, Tim Daly, Sam Daly, Mario Perez, CJ Stuart, Jesse Cheever, Brian Tyler Cohen, Erica Souza

Blurb from Netflix: When the kidnapping of a controversial corporate figure’s daughter goes awry, her limo careens off a bridge, leaving the survivors trapped underwater.

Selina’s Point of View:
Nothing about this movie impressed me. In fact, it barely kept my attention at all.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this film. It’s difficult to make a story like this entertaining – even with flashbacks and twists. It’s possible, just difficult. So whenever we roll a movie with this kind of setting, I’m always skeptical.

Granted, Submerged had a lot more action than I originally expected, and the choreography of the fighting was well done. The actor that played the main character, Jonathan Bennett (Do You Take this Man, Paid in Full, Mining for Ruby), handled his physical scenes really well. In looks, he kind of reminded me of John Barrowman (Arrow, Torchwood, Zero Dark Thirty) at times.

I can’t wait to see Bennett in a good movie.

Aside from the surprising action, the rest of it was incredibly flat and not entertaining at all. The dialog was ridiculous and there was a twist at the end that made no logical sense at all; the plot hole it opened was the size of Jupiter. Millions of people could live on that plot hole and never run into each other. In fact, even if I liked the rest of the film, that ending would have killed it for me.

Twists in films are usually great. The sudden change shocks the viewer and ties the whole story together, when it’s done right. The problem is, you can’t just include a twist in order to include a twist. It’s gotta have a purpose and it’s gotta fit. If the creators of this film had cut about ten minutes earlier and left it open-ended, it would have been a better film.

That’s saying something, because I don’t like open-endings. I much prefer closure.

I won’t be watching Submerged again.

Cat’s Point of View:
This particular result threw me a curve ball. I don’t have a lot of fears that trigger physical reactions. Of course, at the top would be something happening to my child. Aside from that, #1 is of tornadoes. Hard on the heels of that is a fear of a vehicular accident on a bridge resulting in submerging in water.

Bridges make me nervous – we’re not talking about the little ones that are no better than overpasses that go over creeks and such. We’re talking about big ones. The Lake Charles Bridge in South Louisiana freaks me out – it’s a really tall arch. The Lake Pontchartrain and Atchafalaya Swamp Basin bridges are both insanely long and give me the heebie jeebies. This is why I always have a glass-break/seat-belt-cutter in any vehicle I drive.

Last spring, the alternator in my SUV died while going up the incline of a bridge…in the rain. I nearly lost my mind. We weren’t even over the water there. Worries of the vehicle getting skewered on trees or going upside down on the big rocks below weren’t much better. My husband was my hero and kept us from getting hit until a police officer and a tow arrived.

Needless to say, the theme of this particular movie was rather problematic. I pushed through, though, and tried not to let my visceral reaction color my interpretation of the film.

I wasn’t able to revisit the movie and write my review right away, though – I had to give it a few hours for my pulse to calm down and for the nervous energy that lingered afterwards to fade away.

On to the show

I enjoyed the framework for this movie. You start out having absolutely no idea how things have happened, and as things progress you begin to see the story unfold. The structure they chose actually helped me cope with this particular trigger factor more effectively.

The film addresses the different ways that people respond to a crisis rather well. I can’t think of a single negative critique for any of the primary cast members.  For a little bit I thought that Jonathan Bennett (Music High, The Secret Village, Awkward) was stiff; but then I realized that it was part of his character. He has an excellent ‘thousand-yard-stare’ and the rest was a rather realistic reaction to the particular situation he found himself in.

I was surprised to find Mario Van Peebles (Damages, Tied to a Chair, Red Sky) in this movie. I haven’t seen his more recent works, but he’ll always be my Sonny Spoon (1988). 

I will not be watching this movie ever again – but that’s only because of my own issues and not the film, itself. I would recommend it for anyone without a phobia that enjoys a good thriller.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 29%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 16%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer: This trailer is the exact kind of trailer that exists to remind you not to watch one before the movie. THIS TRAILER CONTAINS SPOILERS. WATCH AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.

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