The Cave

Bomb Rating: 

It's quite common these days to be wanded before entering an advance screening.For those who aren't tortured week-to-week by advance screenings, being wanded means that some security person waves an electronic device over most of your body to check for things like picture phones and the occasional crotchcorder. During the movie, these same folks usually wander around the theater with infrared scanners looking for people recording the movie. No such security measures were in place for "The Cave." When piracy is actually considered good publicity, the suckage factor on the film is likely to be so high that brain leakage will occur.

"The Cave" feels like a straight-to-video rehash of every alien-on-the-loose movie ever made. Call it "Pitch Black 2" or "Alien v. Predator 2" or whatever other movie that has a bunch of people in a dark space being chased around by freaky-looking monsters and you're likely to be able to predict everything that happens in "The Cave" without trying very hard.

Jack (Cole Hauser) leads a team of deep sea divers into a giant cave system and they all quickly realize there's more down there than just the water. Conveniently, their way out gets blocked at precisely the same time mysterious, teeth-baring things start leaving pieces of deep sea diver all over the place.

Although there's one slight twist on the basic premise, it's about as complex as giving momma Alien a third set of teeth. It would have been nice if director Bruce Hunt, who honed his skills as a second unit director on the "Matrix" films, had actually learned something about action sequences. Predictably, the monster is kept in shadows, moves too fast to be seen, and is out of focus whenever it appears. As for the action scenes themselves, I've had epileptic seizures that were more coherent. And is it just me or does every alien or monster or genetic mutant creature look exactly the same now? It's like these movies are having sex with each other.

While "The Cave" tries to maintain some sense of seriousness with lots of diving lingo, the clich├ęs drown the story before any decent momentum can surface. Like most brilliant doctors, Katherine (Lena Headey) just can't help but walk around with her wet suit zipped open to her navel. Later in the movie, Kate swallows too much water and Tyler (Eddie Cibrian) pointlessly slices the suit open to perform CPR and provide some good cleavage shots. When the first of the team dies, Jack actually says with a straight face, "We're all hurtin', man."

Oh, I was hurtin' all right. Thankfully, I didn't swallow too much of "The Cave".

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