The first Open Water film was one of those underdog stories that keep the filmmaking industry alive and vibrant today. I was pleased with the simplicity of it all and the emotional effect that kind of storytelling could have. The film provided hope that an Indie film shot on weekends and vacations on an almost nonexcistant budget could have something important to say. While this sequel attempts to reproduce all of these elements, it only further demonstrates how sadly they are missing. There’s no small production feel to the process. The only thing small here is the script. Unlike our original couple, these swimmers are in peril not because of someone else’s negligence, but due to their own stupidity. When three couples out on a yacht to celebrate one of their birthdays, they all slip into the water without first checking to be sure the ladder or a landing was put out so they can get back on. Add a baby left behind, and I still can’t get too worked up about whether or not these idiots survive. The stupidity continues as each stage of further danger is only brought about by one moronic action after another. Finish it off with an ending that tries to be mysterious but only ends up being the idiot cherry on top of this idiot sundae.
Open Water 2 is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is very clean and quite nice to look at. Again, the indie look of the first film is ignored with this more slick production. Colors are realistic, and there is impressive detail in the shadows, in fact in the entire presentation. Black levels are great. About the only bad thing the video has going for it is a low bit rate, causing too much compression artifact. Even with that flaw present, the ocean’s layers of color and depth come across very nicely indeed.
This is another one of those Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks that really makes little use of the surround speakers. Just about everything is dialogue, so the entire presentation appears pretty much limited to the front. A few subtle water slaps can be heard from time to time, but never enough to create the setting needed to put you in intimate contact with the action. There isn’t much of a score, so there’s never any real dynamic range to speak of.
- “Making Of Open Water 2” This 20 minute feature reveals little more than each actor rehashing the thin story line for us.
I asked to see this film, perhaps expecting to see more of the raw tension and simple genius of the first film. I was disappointed, as you will be if you get it expecting more of the same. The result is a slick quickie story that will leave you feeling a little cheated. Tension and suspense is replaced with a ton of extraneous dialogue. It’s basically “I talk, you listen.”