Published on February 23rd, 2015 | by Allan Brown0
GFF 2015: Pressure Review
Movie Review: Pressure (2015)
Running Time: 91 mins
Director: Ron Scalpello
Writers: Louis Baxter (story), Alan McKenna, Paul Staheli
Stars: Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Alan McKenna
Director Ron Scalpello (Offender) presents the UK premier of his second feature film at the 2015 Glasgow Film Festival, but is Pressure worth taking the plunge?
When a four man deep sea dive crew become separated from their ship, paranoia, panic and claustrophobia engulf the team as they enter a race against time in a bid for survival, in saturation bell located 400 metres below sea level.
The thrilling no-escape premise conjures nostalgic thoughts of cinematic giants such as Apollo 13 and 127 Hours, but even the incredible wealth of talent involved is not enough to save what is an extremely bland 91 minute venture into monotony.
Just like the aforementioned movies, Pressure takes place in a space no bigger than a few metres wide, and while this successfully generates a feeling of claustrophobia, it also means the film relies heavily on the writing of its characters to keep the audience engaged once the thrills die down. Sadly this is where the film sinks.
Despite strong passionate performances from all involved, there is sadly little for the cast to work with. Sporadic flashback sequences of tragedy are weaved throughout in an attempt to bring substance and weight to the four characters, but these sequences and the general writing feels messy and disjointed, resembling a mosaic of half-hearted ideas that are never fully embraced or committed too. As a result, the lack of emotional investment means when they start dropping like flies, we couldn’t care less.
The cinematography is often on cue and some of the underwater shots are beautifully haunting, but again, the lack of substance and character development means this vessel is internally rotten.
In the end, Pressure was a film that offered so much potential, but despite is strong nail biting opening sequence, its uneven tone, clumsy direction and inherent lack of substance sadly leaves this deep sea voyage instantly forgettable.
Summary: Even the acting prowess of Danny Huston and Matthew Goode cannot save this thriller - with precious few thrills - from becoming a laborious dive into monotony.