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Underwater: Should We Call It a Failed Attempt to Copy ‘Alien’?‎

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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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Underwater: Should We Call It a Failed Attempt to Copy ‘Alien’?‎

We do believe that it’s tough to come up with a completely original plot that has a set of twists and complexities that have never been tackled before. However, if filmmakers attempt to create a movie with a classic scenario, they at least should offer a glimpse of creativity of their own.

Underwater follows mechanical engineer Norah (Kristen Stewart) and a handful of her crew members who survived the sudden destruction of their underwater research facility. The survivors now have no option but to venture into the dark depths of the sea outside their facility to get to the escape pods that will take them into safety. With limited oxygen in their underwater suits and the danger of more collapses, the crew are fearful, but they have no clue that there is so much more out there to fear than they can imagine.

If you have seen Alien, you will recognise a series of scenes in Underwater that are entirely copied. Whether it’s the visual effects, or the characters’ design, the level of rip off is outrageous.

The plot starts with some promise of mystery in the underwater research facility, but it quickly turns superficial, wasting the potential. As the facility collapses, the plot does too, as events start becoming less sensible, including leaving safety, diving to the ocean bed, and swimming all the way to the escape pods. The plan seems even more ridiculous with the fact that Norah is able to wire the facility’s ground control, giving audiences the space to think that there probably is a better way to escape danger than the lazy resort that forces the characters to dive into the depths of the ocean.  Another thing that doesn’t make sense is how some characters instantly die, while others survive time after time without fighting back. As a whole, the plot tries to be sophisticated by throwing in technology, but it ends up giving the vibe of a videogame.

Amplifying that vibe, the script, ditching exposition and focusing on the here and now, becomes a boring recitation of dialogue that has fancy-sounding tech jargons thrown here and there. The visual aesthetic is the sole positive trait, with several shots seeming interesting.

For the acting, Kristen Stewart tries to give depth to her shabby videogame character; even though she does not completely fail, her performance showcases very little, if any, of her acting skills, which didn’t help at all. In fact, all the characters lacked depth to the point of becoming terribly forgettable.

Fans of this type of film will go and watch it and applaud the aesthetics, but when it comes to entertainment and novelty, they should just watch Alien instead.

Like This? Try

Alien (1979), Jurassic Park (1993), and Independence Day (1996).

360 Tip

Due to the Disney purchase of 20th Century Fox, the release date was pushed to January 2020. Shooting took place in the spring of 2017.

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