The Cave Movie Review

Posted by: The Dude

Excrement- (ek-skre-ment) n. feces. Feces- (fee-seez) n. waste matter discharged from the bowels. The Cave- (the-cave) n. You can see where this joke is headed.

My, my, my. I know bad. I've seen bad. I subjected myself to the House of the Dead DVD several times (with commentary, because I had to hear what the hell they were thinking). House of the Dead is my high water mark of bad. The Cave doesn't knock it out, but it's a strong contender. Actually, that's mean. Nothing is House of the Dead bad. But this is pretty bad. Same kind of bad, though. The kind of bad that invites some friends over and drinks a lot and MST3Ks the whole damn thing. It does possess a certain kitsch value. In fact, I think I might have to create a drinking game for this movie.

Follow the rules closely. Or don't. It's entirely up to you. TAKE A DRINK: Anytime a character screams another character's name. TAKE A DRINK: When any character clearly states another's character development arc. (ie. "She's such a show off," "He sure knows a lot about caves," "His excessive hair growth is due to a berserk pituitary gland that accelerated at birth," etc.) TAKE A DRINK: Anytime the phrase"Let's get into the water" is spoken. TAKE A DRINK: When, after saying above phrase, said characters proceed to jump in the water. TAKE A DRINK: Whenever someone starts climbing. TAKE A DRINK: Whenever it fades to black. TAKE A DRINK: Whenever someone lights a flare. (Take another sip if the lighting of the flare is how the scene begins after the previous scene faded to black). TAKE 2 DRINKS: Whenever Piper Perabo delivers a line with utmost stupidity. TAKE 3 DRINKS (or finish drink you have on you): When Piper Perabo screams. (Once you've stopped laughing). TAKE A DRINK: When you're suddenly reminded of Pitch Black. DO A SHOT: When you realize how much better Pitch Black is than this, and suddenly decide you'd rather be watching that. TAKE A DRINK: When even YOU can't make sense of what the hell's going on. (although, at this point, you might want to make it water. You've been drinking all night, rummy). Ok, so you might get the point.

Obviously, a movie like the Cave is not going to be Schindler's List, and thank god it doesn't even try. But still, a little bit of coherence would have been appreciated. Something to make this movie an almost crap-tacular experience. I think that's what upsets me the most about the movie, was that it could have been something so much more fun, and something way cooler, and it just isn't. The story isn't nearly as easy to describe as, say, SNAKES ON A PLANE! The Cave is kind of a generic title, which is good because it's a generic movie.

Bunch of "Expert Divers" get called in to explore a cave. (title). once in said cave, things happen, what they are I'm not too clear on. Anyway, they suddenly can't go out the way they came, so they decide to find a new way out. And there's something in the cave with them. A creature. Or many creatures. After that the feasting begins, and tensions flare. To be honest, there's nothing in this movie you haven't seen in a better movie. The script is pretty lame. And the ad doesn't even tell you what's really going on. Oh, and the movie doesn't have that Pitch Black-esque shot of Cole Hauser lighting a flare and a bunch of creatures are over him. Don't know where that went. Maybe I missed it because I was too busy thinking about other things.

The acting is pretty bad, although Cole Hauser does a decent job. Even though there are parts when he seems to be trying out as a zombie in Michael Jackson's Thriller video. (Looks, and acting range, almost as if Cole Hauser suddenly realized that he was ripping off a movie that was much better THAT HE WAS IN!!!) And Morris Chestnut isn't half bad, but then again, he doesn't have much to say. Everyone else is pretty wooden, and seems to be there only to provide fodder. The special effects are pretty damn good, it must be said. A few obvious CG bits aside, the things that are in said titular cave are pretty cool. Sure they're nothing new, but they're fun creatures. Kudos to Patrick Tatopolous. I always like his work. And the score isn't half bad. It's the same guys who did Land of the Dead, and Run Lola Run. (those were much better scores, though. Maybe because those didn't rip off Jaws). There's also some nice underwater photography. In fact, there's a LOT of underwater photography.

I was reminded of another MST3K bit while watching this. The robots are watching a movie (as they do) and there's a whole lot of shots of an RV driving. Tom Servo (the gumball machine robot) says "Look, we paid for the RV, we're gonna FILM the RV!" I kept shouting "We paid for the underwater camera, we're gonna FILM UNDERWATER!!" But there are a lot of fade to blacks. Even more than Blood Deep (and that had a lot). And there's no real sense of geography in the film, and that bugged me a lot. Now I'm just nitpicking, I realize, but still. There's no tension for me unless I know exactly where they are. Suddenly, they'll be in a different chamber, and the Predators will show up, while the Aliens are...wait, wrong better movie. Wow. If I'm thinking AVP is better, we know there's a problem. So, as you can tell, I highly recommend the movie.

Sure, the movie I'm recommending is Pitch Black, but still. Remind yourself that you can watch a better movie that strives to rise above the material and have some fun, instead of just using the underwater camera just because you have it. Oh, and if you do decide to play the drinking game, please be careful. (And do it legally. No underage drinking, and no driving afterwards. And if you sneak it in the theater, mix it in an ICEE cup. Just kidding. There's my CYA statement). You will get sloppy as hell. And them maybe you can tell me what the hell was going on with the end?

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