One of the greatest films of all time. (by richard.n.smith)
The special edition of this movie must rate as one of the best movies ever made.Everything is present in it's correct quantities: Action Romance Adventure Sci-fi Black ComedyThis film is head and shoulders above every other film because of it's attention to detail and the excitement and drama it deliversThis is a DVD must have.
Masterpiece (by Lt_Coffey_182)
Though I prefer The Terminator and Aliens, this film is James Camerons most artistic film. The visual imagery of this film is stunning, with no half measures taken, it is such a pleasure to watch. The aliens look as beautiful as an alien can do and the underwater scenery is so picturesque that I just wish I could be there.The special effects are stunning. As with a lot of Cameron's hits, this was an innovator in special effects. If it wasn't for this film, films such as The Matrix and Lord of the Rings would not be here or at least would not have been able to express themselves in a <more>
visual sense.Cameron is the ultimate director. Although he is a pain to work with, he gets his image across and proves why he is such a hit machine. No one compares to him when it comes to picking a cast. Even though most of this cast were, and still are, unknown, the performances in this are fantastic. I know I always praise him but Michael Biehn as Coffey is one of the best acting performances I have ever seen and the fact that Biehn was not even Oscar nominated is a travesty! He is great to watch as the maniac who is irate and just plain horrible. Ed Harris is on par with his good performances in The Rock and Apollo 13. You just want to be his mate in this movie despite the fact he is another pain see Rock out takes which is why him and Cameron have not spoken a word since this film. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was a bit of a fad. She didn't last very long being in good films but she is good as the hard nosed estranged wife who near the end, becomes wonderfully vulnerable and loving.Cameron is a great writer and The Abyss, along with The Terminator and Strange Days, shows off his talent to a great extent. As with all of Cameron's Sci-Fi screenplays, behind the technology lies a distinctively human element. This enables The Abyss, despite the extra terrestrial goings on, to approach the audience on their level and suck viewers in to the film. The character of Coffey is a great obstacle character because he is losing his mind and is getting engulfed by paranoia to the point where he can not trust anyone. The way Cameron uses Coffey to build up suspense is very effective and the culmination of this is one of the most frantic underwater chases there will ever be. Spectacular is the only word that comes to mind. The ending of this film has been heavily criticised but this is unfair as it carries a decent message regarding humanity and fits the mood of the film. It may have been slightly rushed but the best bits of the film are all under water anyway.Anyone who likes their special effects, a great story and terrific acting need look no further than The Abyss. The contrast of the breathtaking beauty of the ocean between the claustrophobia of a vessel should be enough to captivate most audiences. A fantastic visionary piece.
The Abyss is one of the best sci-fi action/adventure movies ever made. Besides the "usual" ingredients of excitement, characterization and great narrative technique, the movie really scores on the wonder factor. The amazing, jellyfish-like aliens and their manipulation of water... A superb story incorporating the use of a then-recent SFX breakthrough to absolute perfection. A timeless story with great actors, great characters, great emotional substance.The story is fabulous. It is about the very survival of humanity, drawing on that time-honored science fiction trope: will we be so <more>
stupid and disorganized that we cause our own destruction, or will love and reason prevail, inaugurating a great and harmonious future for our species? In thinly veiled symbol terms, this movie demonstrates how we will reach the brink of destruction due to our own folly, but can be redeemed if we rediscover the love and wonder that we once lost.My rating: A clear 10 out of 10.P.S. Coffey's first name is... Hiram?!?! BWAAAH-HA-HA-HA!!!!
This movie is extremely well made. Make sure you get the original director's cut, or Special Edition as they are calling it on the DVD. It includes the real ending, along with more than 20 minutes of additional footage. The morons from the studio in Hollywood decided that the public wouldn't want to see a nearly 3-hour underwater adventure, and forced James Cameron to cut it down and change the ending. The ending the studios insisted on is your typical boring old done-a-million-times happy ending, and does not work. It betrays the message of the film, and makes it nothing more than a <more>
good underwater shoot-em-up. This movie is much more than that. See the REAL ending to understand why it is so important to this film. As opposed to the canned studio ending, the REAL one makes you think. Well, what did you expect? Hollywood executives make movies for the common herd, they dumb them down to make sure every patron goes away feeling happy. God forbid that anyone actually may have to think a little. At the time, despite a few solid hits such as the original Terminator , James Cameron wasn't enough of a power in La-La land to force the studios to release the movie as he wanted it to be. After Titanic, they will do whatever he says, so we can now expect some great Cameron films to look forward to, rather than having to wait for the REAL movie to come out years later on a Special Edition DVD.
Towards the end of the Cold War the USS Montana, a nuclear submarine runs straight into an underwater cliff after an encounter with what they believe was a new beyond state-of-the-art Russian submersible. The Navy dispatches a SEAL team lead by Michael Biehn to record and survey the situation and to find some answers. The commission a nearby or is it hijack? deep sea oil drilling platform run by the estranged Brigman's, Bud and Linsey Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio . During their mission things aren't quite as they seem as they discover that they are not alone deep in <more>
"The Abyss". On the verge of war topside and below with themselves the SEAL and workers struggle to come to terms with an unbelievable situation that could lead them to a nuclear confrontation."The Abyss" is a richly constructed story that puts well thought up and executed characters into a situation that looks to be a schmaltzy, love story set under the sea. The aliens or NTI's pretty much take a backseat to the human element and our old conflicting ways, these NTI's are non-violent and they want to teach us the error of our ways and they mean business especially in the Special Edition cut . The whole cast does a wonderful job and most of the leads give Oscar-caliber performances. Harris and Mastrantonio do it so well you think their actually married. James Cameron establishes his love for the ocean in "The Abyss" will fully succeeds on all the technical levels. The production design is amazing with the full-size Deep Core set that was submerged at the bottom of an unused nuclear reactor building. Cameron shows his affinity for technology as the "pseudo pod "soon championed in the new wave of computer generated imagery. Highly recommended.
Epic original sci-fi adventure with a lot of heart, action, suspense, and brains (by mstomaso)
The Abyss is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi films. It mixes hard science with abject fantasy to make moral and philosophical points about the human condition and our place in the universe without the usual clichés. And it does so with good dialog, strong characterization, and intensely emotional acting. Harris and Mastrantonio are absolutely electric together and dominate the screen, but the entire cast deserves plenty of credit. The production itself is mesmerizing despite its vast scale and tastefully used special effects. The film is long, but worth every second of the experience, and <more>
the slightly lengthier, more detailed Special Edition version is even better than the original.Ostensibly, this is a film about first contact with non-terrestrial intelligence. But the story allegorically deals with an amazing array of themes common to great dramas - violence, love, capitalism, war, courage and cowardice. The hardest, most obedient soldier in the film, played spectacularly by Michael Biehn, is a coward, and a man who is hopelessly in love with his estranged wife Harris turns that love into an act of suicidal heroism which might unintentionally save the world. And yet nothing is exactly as it seems to be, and there are really no spoilers in this review. There are so many subtle and sensitively developed themes in this film that it is hard to imagine a more epically human drama in the sci-fi genre. Even so, this is a film which entertains at every level, and will satisfy the action fan as much as the wannabe film critic. ;- Most of the film takes place on an experimental submarine drilling platform owned by a petroleum company. A nuclear sub has been lost in "the abyss" - a subduction trench near the Caiman Islands - after encountering an impossibly fast object. Soon, the US military commandeers the platform and its command ship - The Benthic Explorer - to attempt a rescue mission. As everything begins to go wrong, and the encounters with strange phenomena continue, the Navy SEAL in charge of the rescue attempt begins to crack. Meanwhile, on the surface, accusations concerning the sub are escalating between the USSR and USA, and nuclear war seems immanent. This describes just a small segment of the deliciously complex plot that unfolds in The Abyss. You'll have to see it to enjoy the rest.
When we think about aliens in the movies, I guess everybody immediately thinks about the series of "Alien" - movies, but there are some other fine examples and "The Abyss" may well be the best alternative I can come up with. Even though this was made by James Cameron, the same director who gave us "Aliens", both movies are very hard to compare.When an American nuclear submarine is attacked during the cold war and crashes, the navy is convinced that it was the work of the Russians. They want to salvage the wreckage as soon as possible, because a storm is coming, <more>
but they aren't able to send a diving crew of their own that quickly. That's why they contact a group of workers of a nearby underwater oil rig, who reluctantly accept the job. They are joined by some navy SEALS who will help them to locate and investigate the cause of the crash. But they do not only find the crashed sub, they also find out that there is more down there in the deep than what they had ever expected to see.What I liked so much about this movie was that this time the aliens didn't feel threatening at all. It was something completely different from what we were used to see and it worked perfectly. This was a beautiful, well-crafted movie with some very fine acting and with some excellent special effects. Even though this movie was created in 1989, the computer animations were still marvelous and breathtaking. In fact, this entire movie is breathtaking. It is very touching and powerful at the same time and I'm sure that many people will have a lot of difficulties not to show any emotions while watching it. I give this movie an 8/10. It sure doesn't deserve any less.
I like short reviews so I will try to keep this short!Let me begin to tell you this movie is original! Not to many movies are being made that have an underwater setting.The movie is about a drilling team who operate a high tech underwater drilling station deep under the sea. As soon as they become cut off from the surface in a storm near an underwater crevice things are getting a weird.Strange in a way that the movie slowly shows that something scary and silent is there with them on the ocean floor. It builds suspension gradually until it ends within a climatic ending of the movie which I <more>
really liked but some people have other opinions about that! Acting is great and the story very original with just enough action!**** out of five!
I've never really heard of The Abyss except in Fox DVD commercials. When it came out, I was only 8 and not into sci-fi movies that weren't titled Star Wars. However, now I decided to check it out and was quite pleased with this solid sci-fi movie.At first, I wasn't quite sure why this was considered sci-fi. It seemed pretty normal with the sinking of a nuclear sub and the hiring of an oil crew to save it. It wasn't for a while till we really got to meet the "extraterrestrial" creatures. The special effects for representing these characters were quite good, and I <more>
especially liked the water creature that toured around the rescue vessel. It's also neat to see that effect inspire a similar one used in Terminator 2.As I said, the story took a little while to gain steam, but it was pretty interesting from then on. The acting was good too, most notably by Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The other actors didn't do anything really extraordinary but serve as solid supporting characters.Overall, I wouldn't say The Abyss is the best sci-fi movie out there or that it will dethrone Star Wars anytime soon, but rather it's a solid addition for any sci-fi fan's collection.My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ Memorable