Pressure (Drama, Thriller, 2015) (15) D: Ron Scalpello W: Louis Baxter, Alan McKenna + P: C: Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Alan mcKenna, Ian Pirie, Daisy Lowe, Gemita Samarra.. 1h 31m. UK.
Synopsis : A group of men are trapped in a small pod on the sea bed, after diving down to fix an oil pipeline and becoming serperated from their ship.
An underwater adventure filled with terror blood and where the only treasure is precious oxygen.
Seaming to take inspiration from many a sturdy submarine movie, Pressure also seems to have a lot of influence from Lifeboat (1996) a well-crafted TV movie adapted from short story from Alfred Hitchcock.
Isolating a small group of men away from their families and loved ones on an emergency mission and plunging them to the bottom of the ocean to fix a pipeline, Pressure manages to deal with the psychological anguish that occur when things go wrong but it’s added bonus is to deal with the very real issues, as title does suggest, there are more physical ailments of this doomed mission.
The film starts with a series of irate and harsh phone calls, giving the idea that there is a massive expensive problem; quickly a group of men are assembled and sent down to the bottom of the ocean to fix a pipeline. Pretty soon it’s apparent that they are under equipped for the job at hand but also unable to cope with the problems that crop up like lack of oxygen and minor things like that (lol) just about the time they start panicking about the problems they realise that they have lost contact with the ship I cannot raise any help and that’s when the fun begins start.
As expected most of the style of this movie is all in the same line as any submarine flick, and in some aspects any small pod space movie, the only real enhancements would be some external deep sea scenes but to be honest it was all covered in Black Sea (2014). For a theme I’m not entirely sure what it would be it seems at some point it’s a tale of sacrifice and bravery and other times it seems to be suggesting that people need to let go of the past!?? Lacking direction like this makes the film that little bit more underwhelming.
There’s a really well handled scene with a group of rogue jellyfish do the part too hamper the mission. Like it’s not bad is bad enough being stuck at the bottom of the ocean but you also have to contend with some brainless sloppy joes, usually the deep-sea attackers are much more ferocious but these guys do the job.
After the shit kicks off and the men really come to terms with the isolation and one of the team members by the tragic accident apartments to quicken but strangely the screenplay remains quite calm but start focusing more on the personal lives of the crew it’s around this time but the script seems quite dumbed down that it’s almost unbelievable, fair enough it’s understandable that some of the crew members have been in tough situations before the level of control and the language is just not plausible.
As things spiral out of control the cinematography starts to zoom into the faces and characters coupled with some great atmospheric sounds and space like outings the film starts to take on a look and feel that it’s on another planet or in outer space, some of these external scenes were very much like being in outer space they were men in suits being attached to the port buy oxygen cables facing the pitch blackness it was hard to believe that it was only a few metres below the waves.
Some of the guys that first go down into the pod should have been wearing the red jumpers from Star Trek as they were pretty obsolete and got wiped out quickly, the only actors that really stand out is the young boy Jones (Joe Cole) and the Neil Tennant lookalike Engel (Danny Huston) who pretty much take over the show part of the way through. There is a strong performance from Carson (Matthew Goode) he made many valiant attempts to save the crew and is pretty much the only action hero in the movie. I always get a little worried when a cast is fully of one gender, someone always gets the pussy hat is identified as being the biggest girl, this would go to Jones, sorry man but he’s the prettiest one down there, if it were an endurance test he’d be on his knees!
This is the second movie from Ron Scalpello and also starring same Joe Cole it’s clear to see that a strong duo has been made here even though these two films are worlds apart they deal with similar issues in the same way. There isn’t a lot of scope for a movie set in a confined space, usually it’s done to reduce the cost of the movie , but in this case the ante was upped by having to produce a film in such an awkward place. It’s a well-made movie but it lacks direction and doesn’t intensify enough, saying that I have watched it 3 times now, mostly for the jellyfish attack.
It doesn’t really bring anything new to the submarine or deep sea genre apart from the swarm of jellyfish and some enlightenment to the effects of pressure on a dental filling, Which is one of the most impressive scenes of the movie, after the pod falls the bottom of the ocean the pressure starts to fuck everyone up a little and Jones starts screaming and thrashing around, the neil tenant look alike grabs a fuck off large knife and pries the boys mouth open and starts to slowly push the knife in, I’m thinking he’s got instant cabin fever, a quick flip and everything calms down, turns out that jones had an air caught in a cavity…and ends up spitting blood for the rest of the movie. There are curious little dreamlike sequences that Jones goes through, seeing his girlfriend naked in the water, she starts kissing him and then biting into him, the motion is quite like the oracle in 300 (2006).
I think if you’re seriously into submarine movies there will be aspects of this which might interest but generally it doesn’t have that unique level of drama of something as epic as Das Boot (1981) it doesn’t even have any twists or turns like Black Sea (2014). It’s a drama, a pretty sentimental one, not an action movie, that’s something to consider, if you want to see a bunch of guys getting all bravadoed up and making poignant speeches then go elsewhere, but if drama is your thing with a dash of action then this will suffice.
There is a lot of sentiment that gets piled in at the very end very small hints dropped at former tragedies in the history of some of the main characters put all of this comes to a cusp in the final scenes young Jones is still having random flashbacks and night messy currencies featuring his girlfriend and the nail Tennant lookalike becomes more agitated about a personal lock it near the end of the film
VERDICT: I do like the film It it’s being slated left right and centre and I can understand why as much as it looks like a good movie is filmed well there’s some great camera work and some very good acting but it’s just looking a direction and in some respects a decent ending but there is just no conclusion to the film which will leave people feeling a little cheated well it looks nice and there are lots of things that happen in some kind of coherently the film just doesn’t say anything which is a shame because it is impressum to watch it just needed some extra spice
Rating – 5/10
R: Lifeboat (1996) Das Boot (1981), Black Sea (2014)
5B : Submarine Films
L: Deep Sea Films
PD : Post Discussion To Come