Are we stupid enough to be duped by adding a big name to the title of a new film? Did books ever go by the phrasing of "CHARLES DICKENS presents.... a novel by..." NO! So why should a movie do such? In a word, money!
James Cameron - self-professed "King Of The World" since "Titanic" and "Avatar" - has his name plastered all over this "based on a real story" but please don't be fooled by the advertising... this is no Cameron Classic. Not by a long shot.
Admittedly, we have a thinly-veiled script with not much characterisation in it at all, and dialogue that makes you think that George Lucas is a contender for 'the Bard's" replacement - but Cameron always gives something that warrants his global domination. This has nothing at all.
In a survival movie, you have to root for some of the characters to make it through otherwise why bother investing your time, let alone your money, in the endeavour? Yes, some will be assholes, but you expect that to offset the gits who deserve to die during the experience. Hackman's grumpy priest in "The Poseidon Adventure" was not a hero but by God you followed him and his crew to the ends of the earth because he and they deserved it - here not one, and I mean not one, of them deserve our respect or pity because they are the most selfish, self-centered and annoying individuals to grace the silver screen in a long time.
Why waste time watching a group of individuals bicker, second-guess and kill each other when you couldn't give a damn who survives or not? And that's where "Sanctum" mis-fires, big-time. From it's aggressive, cold-hearted leader in the form of Roxborough, down to the cocky entrepreneur Gruffud who has funded the expedition, not one of the characters is worthy of our concern or attention. And if you think that the title "3D" and Cameron will up the ante to make it worth your while, think again... 3D is glorious when there is foreground AND background to create depth to help immerse you in - if there is nothing but darkness and small holes where you can't see anything infront of or behind, then the element of 3D is a waste of time.
A reminder that names and technology are NOT a guaranteed mix for a great film but the building blocks of a possible major letdown - this is not an 'Avatar" or "Titanic" sequel so do not be fooled by the advertising campaign. Nor it's mature swearing - it's a child's attempt at what they think is exciting... but it isn't. New depths plumed!
UK release date: 04/02/11