If you like movies set underwater, I’m sure you’ll binge-watch now already famous list of eighties movies with this setting. We already mentioned it while talking about The Rift , so check out that review if you want to know more. I remember watching Leviathan when I was younger and being blown away by it. It had that Alien atmosphere and big, sturdy and chunky practical effects. I enjoyed the constant bitching about bonuses, workloads and other grunt-talk and don’t get me started on the closed environment and intense atmosphere. The fact the movie is set in the future, 2027 to be more precise and it’s about a bunch of ordinary workers just doing their job gave it a strong escapism vibe.
However, over the years I changed my opinion about this movie. Leviathan is actually a stereotypical rip-off of Alien and The Thing with only a couple of original concepts. Poor Hector Elizondo even has to mimic the infamous bursting scene from the Alien. The first half of the movie is engaging and full of good dialogue but as soon as the main plot kicks off we’re in no-mans-land. This doesn’t mean that Leviathan is not entertaining. Powered by strong performances by Peter Weller, Richard Crenna and beautiful Amanda Pays, it’s engaging enough to warrant a viewing, especially if you’re in a mood for this type of flick. You can always trash it while watching.
It is the year of our lord Satan 2027 and deep-sea mining is pretty common on Earth. On the bottom of the Atlantic ocean is one such facility owned by Tri-Oceanic Corp with one goal: extraction of silver and other precious metals. The work is extremely hazardous and a small crew is happy to count only a few days until their contract is up. However, an unexpected discovery will change their plans. For some of them, indefinitely.
I don’t know what it is about mining that I like. I like mining on Earth, I like mining in space and I fucking love underwater mining. That is one of the rare original ideas Leviathan has to offer. That and a couple of good jokes that are sometimes so bad they are actually hilarious.
Here’s a fun game: count the number of times directly lifted from either Alien or The Thing. And more importantly, there’s even a direct rip-off of the infamous Ripley tiny panties scene with Amanda in the lead role. On an unrelated note, I had such a crush on her during the nineties that I didn’t even realize how she influenced my image of a perfect woman until recently. Ever since I saw her in the ill-fated television show Flash released in 1990 I was in love with her.
Leviathan looks and feels really good, even after thirty years. Underwater footage is phenomenal and I already mentioned awesome and imposing sets. The creature effects were done by none other than Stan Winston so you know they’re going to be impressive. By now, I think you know what you’re getting yourself into so just lower your expectations when it comes to the story and enjoy this little piece of eighties extravaganza. And if you’re looking for similar movies, Rabbit Reviews recommends you check out Underwater , a high-concept, a fast-paced sci-fi thriller with great special effects. Enjoy.
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Writers: David Webb Peoples, Jeb Stuart
Cast: Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Amanda Pays, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher, Hector Elizondo
Fun Facts: Chicken feathers were used at one point of shooting the underwater sequences to suggest things were floating around in the water. According to Alex Thomson this did not work because the feathers floating side to side instead of up and down and the idea had to be scrapped altogether.