Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
EVER since James Cameron took a deep sea dive as part of his
research for Titanic, the film-maker has developed a fascination
for exploration and science.
Indeed, it's been seven years since Cameron delivered a movie
like Titanic, preferring instead to put together documentaries
inspired by his underwater exploits.
First came Ghosts of the Abyss,
his 3D journey to the bottom of the ocean to find the real Titanic,
and now comes Aliens of the Deep, his equally impressive 3D Imax
outing that explores the idea that the bizarre creatures living
in the extreme environments found on the ocean floor might just
provide a blueprint for what life is like elsewhere in the universe.
Hence, the film juxtaposes real-life footage of deep sea dives
with imagined special effects of what life might look like on
other planets in the solar system.
Says Cameron: "These deep-ocean expeditions always seem
like space missions to me. So why not combine outer space and
"Sure w,e'll take marine biologists, but why not take astrobiologists
and space researchers? It makes sense, really, because at the
bottom of the ocean are the most insane alien life forms that
have ever been discovered."
With this in mind, audiences can
expect to be enthralled by close-up images of deep-ocean hydrothermal
vents, where super-heated, mineral-charged water gives life to
some of the strangest animals on Earth, including six-ft-tall
worms with blood-red plumes, blind white crabs and a biomass of
white shrimp, all competing to find just the right location in
the flow of near-boiling water.
What's more, by bringing it to viewers in 3D Imax format, they
can virtually feel as if they are face-to-face with this extreme
Where the film falls down slightly is during its latter stages,
when the real is overtaken by special effects and a what if scenario.
It is during these latter stages that Cameron gets to indulge
his fondness for special effects, yet it gives rise to an unsatisfying
While underwater, Cameron and his crew of astrobiologists give
rise to some fascinating theories and some even more impressive
footage, even if they are offset by a few too many 'oohs' and
'aahs' in the script.
But once in space, audiences might feel as though they have switched
channels to an updated version of Cameron's own film, The Abyss.
It's a case of trying to have one's own cake and eat it and provides
a separate talking point that the movie, itself, could well do
That said, it rates among the very best Imax experiences and
is certain to provide compelling viewing for the science buffs