Sanctum Directed by: Alister Grierson Written by: Josh Garvin & Andrew Wight Starring: Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, and Alice Parkinson
It’s hard to remember the last time I wished death on a character as badly as I wished it upon Carl (Ioan Gruffudd). Carl is an unconscionable douchebag; a character so poorly written and acted that to watch him in Sanctum is to experience more agony than any of the characters.
For the most part, that’s how it works in this movie, which is to say nothing really does work. Like last year’s Unstoppable, this is a monster movie with no actual monster. Instead, the lame-duck characters swim their way through an unexplored cave network that slowly but surely claims most of them in a series of unfortunate and completely stupid events. It’s the latest in 3D “event” filmmaking.
Just one year ago Hollywood was partying like it was 2009. For second or third straight summer in a row, studios were rolling out films that pleased audiences, critics and their pocketbook alike, which is an extremely rare feat for the industry to do these days. In 2008, Wall-E, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight topped the box office (with The Dark Knight tumbling new records) and were garnering staggering reviews, then received a slew of Oscar nominations down the road. All were happy.
The year 2009 followed suit. Transformers 2 opened to be the largest grossing movie of the summer, crossing the $400 million mark even if it did get annihilated by critics. Up, Star Trek, The Hangover, The Proposal and more had taken box office expectations and blew them away into becoming monster blockbusters. All were reviewed above fair, many dominated come awards season. Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker had just been released. The State of the Box Office was in the best shape ever, and 2009 would go on to gross over $10 billion, a new record.