The Abyss

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The Abyss

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Time Out says

James Cameron's follow-up to 'Aliens' abandons deep space for the spacey deep, and hits rock bottom as the submarine genre meets 'Close Encounters'. A nuclear sub crashes on the floor of the Atlantic, and the motley crew of an underwater station attached to an oil rig investigate. Inevitably problems mount: a hurricane rages above, a loony marine is on the loose, and cap'n Ed Harris is forced to work with his estranged wife (Mastrantonio), who we're continually told is an utter bitch but who is actually characterised as a perfectly reasonable, efficient engineer. Moreover, there's something out there - though from the first glimpse of flashing lights cruising the deep, anyone who knows their Spielberg will guess the presence is benign. After a relatively gripping start, Cameron's folie de grandeur rapidly sinks into cliché, absurdity and hyperbole; a collapsing crane contributes one pleasingly extended chain of disasters, but the rest of this overlong concoction is scuppered by dire dialogue, histrionic performances and maudlin sentimentality.

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Release details

UK release:

1989

Duration:

140 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

James Cameron

Cast:

John Bedford Lloyd, Todd Graf, Leo Burmester, Michael Biehn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Ed Harris, JC Quinn

Music:

Alan Silvestri

Production Designer:

Leslie Dilley

Editor:

Joel Goodman

Cinematography:

Mikael Saloman

Screenwriter:

James Cameron

Producer:

Gale Anne Hurd

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