The Abyss, Director's Cut (1989)

The best show in town is still THE ABYSS - THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, one-half
of the late show at the Colony in Raleigh.

The story presses a team of oil-drilling divers (led by Ed Harris) into
the service of the Navy, who requests their aid to locate and disarm a
missing nuclear sub. Along for the ride is one ex-wife (Mary Elizabeth
Mastrantonio), some less-than-playful SEALS (led by Michael Biehn), and
a handful of luminescent, underwater aliens.

Director James Cameron's undersea adventure received a soggy reception
in 1989, despite grossing somewhere between $50 to $80 million in the
States. Critics couldn't accept the aliens and with good reason. The
truncated film-- cut by 27 minutes per the studio's request-- gave zero
explanation for their existence.  Aliens, that is. Not critics.

Now, with the footage restored, THE ABYSS is finally fathomable. The
ending is still way-too-literal, but Cameron was young when he made this
movie. (Remember the awful editing in TERMINATOR 2?  The man is still
learning. Let's talk after TRUE LIES.)

If nothing else, THE ABYSS is a bonafide technical masterpiece. The
actors spent months underwater and did all of their own diving. Their
efforts helped to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. (The film was
also nominated for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY and BEST SOUND.)

Take an evening nap and brave THE ABYSS. You won't see another film like
it for some time to come.  It's *that* deep.

Grade: A-

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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