James Cameron takes us deeper under the ocean than anyone has gone before. We watch it in 3-D. But is it worth it? Hell yes!
The last time I can remember actually paying to go to the theater to watch a documentary was a 1972 film called the Ra Expeditions. I was just a kid and my brother Jim took me to see this strange movie where a guy was going to build a boat out off reeds and sail it on the ocean. Reflecting back on the image of the boat as it made its way toward an orange sun was one of the first movies that inspired me along this life-long quest exploring the watery part of the world. To this day, I remember the failure that he encountered and the fact that Thor Heyerdahl, the man attempting to demonstrate how pacific islanders migrated over the open ocean.
Many of Cameron’s films focus on pluming the depths. Titanic and The Abyss were but a prologue to this latest non-fiction film. Deep Sea Challenge had the same effect on me that the Ra Expeditions did. I felt a kinship with Cameron. Yes I was jealous. If I had an unlimited pocketbook, I’d be doing something similar. Cameron allowed me, for a moment, to join him in his quest. The deepest I’ve ever been is one hundred twenty five feet. I was doing a deep wreck dive. Cameron went down seven miles. At that depth you could easily hide Mount Everest and have room to stack a couple of Empire State Buildings.
Was it worth the money? Those who go to movies for thrills may be disappointed. There is no great sea monster that comes rolling out of the darkness. But that is not the movie’s intent. The movie demonstrated that imagination and perseverance (and a large wallet) can further our understanding of the world in which we live.
I only wish that Cameron would open his wallet further to pay for all kids between the ages of six to sixteen to watch this movie for free. Perhaps a kid will go to this movie who will walk away with the wonder that only a child can. This movie is not a synthesized action movie with heroes dodging computer created bullets.This movie sells one of the greatest gifts a movie can offer – a dream.