The ice caps have melted, leaving only 10% of the world livable, according to the opening narration of this adventure/disaster film. Salvaging relics from “lost” cities is a means of making money for our heroes, a boat crew that comprises of James Brolin as a Captain with a secret connection to the Vatican, and his two sons. As they pick up goodies to trade or sell they also search for clues towards a grand solution to the global flooding problem that the Vatican is housing.
The plot has a nifty enough idea for a disaster film to see through (blowing up natural gas reservoirs underground to move the tectonic plates), and by “nifty” I mean: “so ridiculous that it sounds nearly plausible when said by ridiculous people.” If I am going to refer to “ridiculous people” I should start with Brolin’s “Pop.” Brolin does not make for a great action film star as he barely musters up the effort to say “hello” never mind be convincing while facing booby traps in the ruins of Rome. It seems his biggest action “moves” are shoving his son and falling down, which he tactfully uses more than once during the parts where he bothers to be around. The rest of the characters are so one-dimensional that I could only bother to mention them if I were to simply do a series of jokes at their expense; but this film is not worth watching in order to get any references I make, so you are all spared.
It is painfully clear that this is the sort of title that is meant to catch the eye of your regular movie-renter who may have enjoyed the DaVinci Code (what with the conspiracy laced priests at the Vatican) and/or the growing trend of environmental disaster films.
Widescreen 1.78:1. A clear enough picture. The effects are not tip-top but acceptable if this were designed simply for made-for-TV viewing as their lack of detail and polish becomes all the more obvious on an HD screen.
Available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and 2.0. Things are decently balanced in the speakers but some of the dubbing is just awful. The bar-maid turned crew-mate character must have had every single line redone as she alone has her words never match her mouth, as if a character from a foreign filmed wandered in somehow.
Subtitles available in English and Spanish.
All that is included is the option of seeing the same five trailers you see when the DVD is loading, with the radical convenience of not actually having to reload the DVD in order to see them. My joy can hardly be contained.
If you can look past the amateurish direction (even though this film’s director Jean De Segonzac should be better, as he is quite seasoned with numerous television shows), the wooden (if not pathetic) acting, and an action plot that seems stuck in first gear, then you might be able to siphon some joy out of this lukewarm adventure tale.