What do you get when you come cross a sweet looking hole in the ground with some pretty decent no-name actors, nasty looking critters, lots of water and very little light? There are a couple different approaches to that question. You could end up with something along the lines of last year's "Alone in the Dark," which is still standing firm next to "Josh and S.A.M." as the worst movie ever created. Or you could take director Bruce Hunt's route and create "The Cave," which proved itself to be not only better than the aforementioned two, but actually a pretty sweet action/advention/sci-fi combo to boot.
When an excavation of an ancient Romanian church uncovers an entrance to a 90-mile long cave, the expedition leader calls in the most accomplished divers on the planet to investigate. After successfully navigating through the first couple miles of blackness, this hardened team of explorers set up a base camp and quickly make an unsettling discovery. The cave seems to have a food chain of gnarly lookin' creatures and it's not looking like humans are at the apex. The trip takes a sudden turn from being a scientific endeavor to a race for uncertain survival.
This is definitely a great movie to see when you wake up on a weekend after a long night on the town. There is very little thinking needed to grasp what is going on, there are gross looking creatures that fly, swim and eat and the story moves along at a quick and painless pace. There is one major detail about the chemistry of the creatures that seems a bit stupid, but it's still on the table for discussion.
One surprising aspect was the quality of the dialogue, as it seems about par for most of these sci-fi flicks as of late to sacrifice good conversation for cheesy graphics. Both the monsters and the acting surpassed expectations, with pretty incredible National Geographic-esque diving sequences thrown in for your viewing pleasure.
There are certain filters you must put on in order to enjoy such movies. You must be prepared for predictability, exaggerated ridiculous action sequences and totally unnecessary events. There is even an apparent ode to 'Reign of Fire,' which was totally unexpected and totally hilarious. Where's Matthew McConaughey when you need him?
If an involved sci-fi flick is what you're looking for to strain the ol' brain, pull out that dusty copy of 'Alien' and strap yourself in for the long haul. If a quick 90 minutes of brainless fun is in the works, go grab a ticket for 'The Cave' and find a seat right in the middle, you'll probably be the only one in the theatre.
2 out of 4 heads o' ram