2020 is off to a good start as far as movies are concerned. (Note: I avoided the critically panned THE GRUDGE remake.) UNDERWATER is relentless, nonstop tension from opening credits to closing, but it doesn’t suffer the same fate as most movies that rely on breakneck pacing in that it doesn’t shortchange the audience on characterization. It’s a risky way to do it, filling out the cast as the action progresses, but here it works just fine. The film could be called ALIENS under the ocean and that’s a fitting descriptor, but it stands on its own without being derivative. True, there have been plenty of sea monster movies, of better and poorer quality, but a new example now sits atop the pyramid. UNDERWATER is really, really good.
I saw someone on social media talking about how he’d otherwise be excited to see the movie, only Kristen Stewart is in it, and she sucks in everything she’s in. (His words.) This is a fallacious statement. Granted, she developed a reputation because of the shoddy performances she delivered in the TWILIGHT movies, and it is deserved, but she actually *can* act when she wants to. She was incredible as Joan Jett in THE RUNAWAYS and she does fine work in UNDERWATER. It’s hit or miss with her, maybe because she doesn’t always try, but this one is a hit.