Sponsor

New Release Review - PRESSURE

Four men become trapped in a small submarine pod at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.


Review by Emily Craig

Directed by: Ron Scalpello

Starring: Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Daisy Lowe



"The premise of the film has promise, but it doesn’t succeed in filling the audience with emotion due to its poor script and not so believable acting from Danny Huston."





Directed by Ron Scalpello, Pressure is a tedious tale of four men (Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole and Alan Mckenna) who travel in a small submarine pod to the bottom of the Indian Ocean to fix a broken oil pipeline. Of course, things don’t go to plan; their pod breaks down and they become trapped, having only a limited supply of oxygen.
As soon as the film started, there was only one movie I could think about – Black Sea (MacDonald, 2014) which takes on an extremely similar plot whereby a bunch of men from different backgrounds venture off in a submarine and, inevitably, it breaks down. The only difference between Black Sea and Pressure is that in the former, they are searching for a gold mine which is rumored to be in another submarine under water. Basically, Black Sea is one hundred times more interesting, with themes such as greed included and a hell of a lot more tension in its build up.
In Pressure, there isn’t much development in terms of plot and characters before the pod breaks down; it happens almost as soon as they get to the bottom of the sea bed and we haven’t really had any time to familiarise ourselves with the characters yet. The men are completely stereotypical; Matthew Goode plays a genuinely nice guy, Joe Cole is the young one who is on his first dive, Danny Huston has a dreadful hidden past and Alan Mckenna basically regrets his whole life. What innovative characters! In Black Sea, the characters are also stereotypical but at least they had depth and believable, clear stories and motives. I found myself not rooting or caring about any of the men on the pod, which in a film like this, where lives are at stake, it is crucial to feel some connection towards them in order for you to feel any emotion at all. One by one, they get themselves into bother and some lose their lives, which is done very halfheartedly. In one scene, Matthew Goode gets attacked by a smack of jellyfish; this scene should have been full of terror but instead, I laughed at it.
The film (aside from blurry flashbacks) is set primarily in the pod and the sea bed, and so the movie does well at conveying a feeling of fright and claustrophobia to the audience. The final scene in which Joe Cole swims up to the surface of the ocean is by far the strongest and he shows true potential as an actor, as does Goode. The premise of the film has promise, but it doesn’t succeed in filling the audience with emotion due to its poor script and not so believable acting from Danny Huston.



discussion by