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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.71%
Worth A Look: 2.86%
Just Average41.43%
Pretty Crappy: 22.86%
Sucks: 27.14%

8 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Cave, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Piper at the Gates of Hell"
1 stars

I must now confess that ever since I saw the trailer for “The Cave” last winter, I have been waiting for it with the kind of anticipatory glee one usually associates with a child at Christmas. After all, this was a film that, based on the preview, promised viewers the experience of seeing the always-fetching Piper Perabo in a wetsuit rassling mutant underwater bats at the mouth of Hell. Forget “Revenge of the Sith” or “War of the Worlds”–this was, for me at least, the single most eagerly awaited film of the summer. Of course, I wasn’t expecting a legitimate masterpiece that would rewrite the cinema history books but the notion of the cutest “Coyote Ugly” refugee going toe-to-toe with ugly beasts promised goofy brain-dead fun on a level not seen since the brilliantly ludicrous “Resident Evil” extravaganzas.

Alas, “The Cave” never comes close to achieving that level of cheerful cheesiness. Instead, it is a dreary slog through an assortment of equally dreary cliches compiled without even trace elements of wit, energy or purpose. It isn’t good enough to work as a creepy thriller and it isn’t bad enough to work as camp–it just meanders around for 97 minutes until it finally becomes as bored with itself as everyone else is and wraps things up with an ending so perfunctory that it would come across as an insult if there was anyone left in the audience likely to care about it. On the grand scale of monster movies, it ranks somewhere slightly below the made-for-cable junk that usually turns up on the Sci-Fi Channel and features a supporting turn by a slumming Bruce Campbell.

The plot is boilerplate pulp fiction. An enormous underground cave in Romania, once covered by a remote church, is uncovered and appears to contain a vast and unexplored underground river system. To explore these depths are a group of cave divers who display a zeal for penetrating virgin spaces not seen since the guys in “Kids”–there is the Laconic Leader (Cole Hauser), the Ambitious Younger Brother (Eddie Cibrian), the Hothead (Rick Ravanello), the Black Guy (Morris Chestnut) and the Hot Girl (Ms. Perabo). At the cave, they are joined by a pair of scientists (Marcus Iures and Lena Headey, who also appears in another long-delayed release this weekend, the infinitely better “The Brothers Grimm”) and descend into the system. Almost immediately, the dopes cause a cave-in that leaves their escape route blocked and then discover that the cave also house a number of big-toothed creatures with a taste for cardboard characters.

In theory, “The Cave” should work since it has been designed to exploit the kind of innate fears that have haunted mankind since the beginning of time–darkness, claustrophobic spaces, strange monsters ready to chomp you to bits and being trapped in a remote location with a guy named Cole. When a film handles these elements perfectly, such as “Jaws” and “Alien,” the results are so flawless that they can get a rise of viewers no matter how many times they have seen them. Done adequately, as in “Pitch Black,” and they can still provide a couple of hours worth of entertainment. And yet, despite working with these universal fears, the only genuine emotional response that came from the audience that I saw it with occurred when the projectionist blew a couple of reel changes and the picture was misframed.

The problem here is that while it is quite obvious that the filmmakers have seen those movies (since all of them, and many more to boot, are ripped off throughout) and know that they worked, they have no clue or insight as to why they worked. They try getting scares by any means necessary but the scenes are so indifferently shot and put together that it is impossible to get involved with the proceedings–many are so badly edited that we can only guess at what happened. And when we get a load of the creatures, they are the biggest disappointment of all–a routine collection of big teeth, dripping jaws and spindly legs that has been done to death in the years since “Alien.”

So, how is Piper Perabo amidst the flotsam and jetsam that is “The Cave,” you ask? Well, while she is still enormously charming and appealing–and fills out a wetsuit like nobody’s business–the sad fact is that she is barely given anything of consequence to do. She does, however, figure in the single most visually arresting sequence of the film–a long bit in which she is seen from many angles climbing up a mountain wall in a pair of short-shorts. Sadly, this scene ends with the exact moment when I lost all interest in the film—approximately 45 minutes past the point when everyone else in the audience had already given up.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12863&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/26/05 00:04:09
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell dull crap 1 stars
7/23/08 Shaun Wallner This movie has some great scenes in it. 4 stars
3/19/07 Jim Vin Diesel called ... he want's Pitch Black back! 3 stars
12/01/06 harry it was good but them creatures wouldnt survive outside they not ment for it 3 stars
6/12/06 William Goss Meh. Predictable yet watchable. There must be an uncut version, which restores the quality. 3 stars
5/10/06 chienne I only went to see it for Marcel Iures, he's MUCH better that that. 3 stars
4/21/06 Aldo really bad ..i agree it was way too dark !!!!!! 1 stars
4/03/06 Mike loved it,defininately 5 stars,loved the suspense and twisted ending 5 stars
3/23/06 mike movie was too dark to see most of the time - not cool- fuckin sucked 1 stars
1/19/06 Evil Wolfie God i hate this movie... Just terrible 1 stars
1/05/06 othree Couple stand out cast members, potential groundwork turned into SciFi chan crap movie. 1 stars
11/23/05 danielle i htought it was good 4 stars
10/29/05 chris a not so good film tryed to compete with the descent but failed 2 stars
10/24/05 DEEDeeDEEe Was this a Cave Documentry? ¿ I could have watched The Discovery channel 1 stars
10/20/05 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Promising premise founders on lousy shot angles, awkward timing & incomprehensible scenes. 2 stars
10/09/05 Anus AWW THE ASIAN GUY FROM 'LOST' IS IN THERE! 3 stars
9/24/05 Aaron Smith Monsters lose their effectiveness once we see them. Predictable characters. 2 stars
9/04/05 Randy This movie lacks story, characters, plot, but the caves were interesting to look at 2 stars
9/04/05 bff A great film 5 stars
8/29/05 Tom Burns A thrilling, action adventure. 5 stars
8/27/05 anna it was aswome 5 stars
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  26-Aug-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Jan-2006



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