(G) 2 StarsLisa Gauthier
Having been a huge fan of James Cameron's IMAX Titanic documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss, I was highly anticipating Aliens of the Deep. That anticipation had to wait until about half way through the 48-minute film to be realized. Ploddingly slow at times, the pretty pictures are too few and too far between. Aliens of the Deep finds Cameron again ensconced in an underwater exploration vehicle. This time, he and his crew of marine biologists and NASA researchers are taking a look at the ocean floor in order to examine life that thrives without the benefit of the sun. The reasoning behind this is that if we study the multitude of diverse life forms here on Earth, it will prepare us for exploration of life on other planets.
These space and marine experts take turns narrating the (unnecessarily and annoyingly) 3-D movie. Their excitement at getting to be a part of this expedition is obvious, but too much of the movie is spent watching these people instead of the subject they are studying. Consequently, it's a long time before the audience gets to see the stunning rock formations and the pale creatures that inhabit the pitch-blackness of the deepest recesses of the ocean. And once we get there, we are too soon taken back to the surface.
At the end, we visit Jupiter's icy moon Europa. Researchers believe that massive oceans could exist under the miles of ice and that, if these oceans could be explored, life there might be possible. An interesting animated sequence shows how a spacecraft and ice-melting probe could land and then infiltrate the moon.
The film caters to the intellectual who has a bona fide interest in science, yet many of the scientists themselves seem verbally impaired: "This is so cool." This could, though, be the result of Disney's involvement with this flick.
The casual moviegoer will find Aliens of the Deep interesting, but ultimately forgettable. Kids? Don't even think about it unless you are trying to induce a coma.