Saturday, December 15, 2018

Movie Reviews: Leviathan

directed by George Cosmatos
Saturday afternoon monster movie that had decent SFX but not much else.
I like watching some 80s sci-fi horror movies. Usually the computers and CGI weren't as dominant as they are now. So the special effects impressed me more. I didn't take them for granted. They differed dramatically from film to film and director to director. So I had  some occasional fun watching this movie, which was a mashup/kissing cousin/ knock-off of such similar films as Abyss, The Thing, Alien, and a few films that are best forgotten which I saw on Saturday afternoon television. You know the drill. A bunch of people are working in an environment which is 100% hostile to human life (underwater, outer space, alien planet, etc). Someone runs across something that shouldn't exist, gets infected and proceeds to willingly or not, infect his or her teammates. 

If there is a breach of some kind everyone dies. But maybe the breach is better than taking this virus/infection/parasite/alien back to civilization. The problem with many movies like this is that the black guy often dies first. To add insult to injury he often dies in some stupid sacrifice for the white hero/heroine. Well this film got rid of one of those problems. So I guess for the time that was progress.

This movie was pretty predictable. It did have some well known faces. Some of the actors and actresses went on to bigger and better things. Others pretty much stayed in this pocket for the rest of their careers. So it goes.

A team of undersea miners is approaching the completion of their assignment. The miners are unionized and, male and female alike, are a bunch of roughnecks. They do their best to push the buttons and test the mettle of the rookie management representative, Beck (Peter Weller), who is a scientist with no previous managerial experience. A leader of men, Beck is not.

But Beck is doing his best to learn on the job and not allow the acerbic experienced foreman Justin (Ernie Hudson), serious union rep Cobb (Hector Elizondo) and all around lust crazed jerk Sixpack (Daniel Stern) to make him lose face in front of the rest of the crew. Beck especially doesn't want to look bad in front of Elizabeth (Amanda Pays). Beck has goo-goo eyes for Elizabeth. He's impressed with her big (ahem) brains. Most of the other men on the vessel also have their eyes on Elizabeth, given Elizabeth's proclivity to go for jogs around the station in sleeveless tops and not much else.

Upon one of their final excursions outside of the deep sea station the crew finds the ruins of an old Soviet ship. It's named the Leviathan. But it doesn't show up on the current shipping records. At all. Well that's suspicious isn't it. Sixpack and his distaff partner in crime Bridget (Lisa Eilbacher) find some records and information on the ship. They bring those back. They also bring back something else.  The station's doctor (Richard Crenna) hasn't seen anything like this before. Beck has some decisions to make. But the oleaginous company CEO (Meg Foster) thinks that Beck needs to remember who pays his paycheck before he does anything as serious as aborting a mining mission. Decisions , decisions. Havoc ensues.

If you can stand to watch a low rent Alien then this is moderately entertaining. But given that people do so many stupid things, you will likely have to turn off most of your brain processing before watching this film. Ask yourself this question. Would you eat or drink something that had been underwater for lord knows how long? If your answer is "Hell no!!" then congratulations, you're smarter than most of this film's characters.
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