That said, the sense of claustrophobia is palpable, and the film sure has its share of inventive, brutal deaths–especially for a PG-13 flick. A character literally explodes into bits from exposure to pressure. Another gets sucked out of his suit, the helmet filling up with bubbly blood. Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts’ darkly majestic score beautifully complements the narrative, both heart-pounding and oppressive.
“Stewart commands the screen in a fierce performance, effortlessly elevating the material…”
Stewart commands the screen in a fierce performance, effortlessly elevating the material with a few poignant glances and teeth-clenched determination. Eubank clearly adores the actress; the continuous ogling of her scantily-clad, uber-athletic body veers close to navel-gazing – but you know what? Neither the guys nor the ladies in the theater – nor Ms. Stewart, for that matter – seemed to mind. Vincent Cassel provides reliable support, the stalwart– similarly to Stewart–possessing the ability to convey a lot (or as much as this script allows him to) with little. Miller fares worse, stuck in the comic-relief role that’s not all that comical–all the cheesiest one-liners are delegated to his character. Yet it’s never distracting enough to sink Underwater.
Sure, the film could have been a little slicker, a tad more layered and nuanced. I wish some of its action were a bit less frenzied and blurry. The story may be as shallow as its setting is deep, but as far as (very expensive) B-flicks go, you could do a lot worse. Dive in.