19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I was really hoping to enjoy THE RIG (2010). I love monster-on-the-loose flicks, and this one looked to be so simple and straightforward a set-up that I couldn't imagine how anyone could screw it up.
I seriously underestimated director Peter Atencio.
Here's the plot: most of the crew of a deep-sea oil-drilling platform are evacuated ahead of an approaching hurricane, leaving only a skeleton crew aboard, led by hardcase roughneck Jim (veteran heavy William Forsythe, G-MEN FROM HELL). Unfortunately, several bloodthirsty, inhuman creatures have been released from beneath the ocean floor by the drill, and the vicious monsters stalk the isolated, unarmed crew, killing them off one-by-one...
Shot on a real oil platform, THE RIG definitely benefits from the authentic location and the verisimilitude it provides. Forsythe is as good as usual, and familiar character actor Art LeFleur (TRANCERS, ZONE TROOPERS) also shines in his small role. The creatures are quite good, executed primarily through the use of performers in well-designed monster suits and other practical effects, with only a limited use of CGI. There are some decent gore make-ups and a bit of gratuitous boobage. All good.
But - top-billed Forsythe is barely in the picture. Worse, the direction (and editing) by Peter Atencio is leaden and utterly suspense-less, and he is poorly served by the amateurish acting of the bulk of the cast. The script is stupidly plotted and packed with banal dialogue (not that a logical script with snappy patter is vital for a B-monster movie, but it sure helps) and the movie's pace is sluggish, padded with unnecessary and obvious time fillers like endless shots of empty corridors, gratuitous slow-motion and pointless, black & white flashbacks to events that occurred only minutes before (and repeated again, later in the film!). Even the "fade to black" scene transitions are insanely slow and drawn-out.
The movie doesn't even end on a high note - instead, we get a protracted, ludicrous epilogue that actually drags the viewer's attention away from the only character we've come to care even slightly about, to instead resolve a soap opera subplot for a minor character who's barely in the film.
And, while I'm bitching - if your plot hinges, in part, on a menacing hurricane, it'd be nice if you actually attempted to portray one in your movie. Apparently, in the world of the film, a slight fog is enough to cause evacuations from oil rigs; all we ever see of this terrible storm is a couple of digital lightning flashes and an equally artificial mist. Some crashing waves, strong winds and torrential rain (not to mention the sound effects associated with same) might have actually added some pretense of danger to the situation. I guess it just cost too much to rent and haul some wind machines and fire hoses out to the location.
Anchor Bay's DVD is perfectly adequate, with a sharp (the movie was obviously shot on HD video) 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Digital 5.1 audio. There's a commentary track by Atencio and producer James D. Benson, some behind-the-scenes footage, and a trailer.
As I said, I thought the creatures were pretty well done, but not so remarkable that I can bring myself recommend THE RIG, even to die-hard B-monster movie aficionados. Unlike a lot of bad creature features that can still be entertaining because they're so off-the-wall or the monsters so endearingly goofy, THE RIG is just dull and incompetent... so I expect you'll be seeing it on SyFy any day now.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Actually, let me say up front that this flick is more like 3 stars if that, but when I feel a movie is unjustly dumped on, I like to give it a helping hand. Having previously read the reviews here I passed it up, but, while browsing a used DVD store, I came across it and figured it'd be worth $4. Now, I suppose this is the part where I say, "boy, and am I glad I did!" but, honestly, it wasn't that good. However, it wasn't as bad as some reviewers here make it out to be. Upon finishing this movie, I suspected some sort of agenda-mongering by some of the reviewers here, but upon revisiting this page, I think the truth is that many of these people are simply jaded.
First, the cast is pretty decent. Contrary to what some have said here, they all performed quite well. The characters were likeable (unlike in some films) and the actors made you care about them (at least, should you make a modicum of an attempt to suspend disbelief in a film about rampaging sea-monsters). Many were unknowns, but that didn't make them "amateurish". I guess there's an element out there that figures if they aren't "name" actors, they must not be good. The entire cast did a good job being half-way convincing as oil-rig workers. The script simply didn't call for a whole lot of deep characterization, and this film didn't need it. In fact, what little drama there was seemed like excess baggage.
Second, the directing was competent for something like this. Nothing remotely stylish, but adequate. Decent editing. Cinematography was really nice at times, with lighting low enough to be moody, but still light enough to see the action. Also, the lighting seemed very realistic throughout most of the film, usually seeming like flourescents in a hallway or arc-lighting on the deck, no beautiful "artsy" lighting as in some movies. An instance or two of the shaky, hand-held camera so popular today, but not enough to be distracting.
Third, this was obviously filmed on a real oil-rig, so I don't know what movie the people complaining about the sets watched. Nothing more to say on that.
Finally, the Monster. Pretty decent man-in-a-suit, think "Humanoids from the Deep" here with an "Alien" make-over. I know that there is a clue-less strata of movie-goer out there that thinks that CGI, no matter how badly done, must trump the traditional methods, no matter how well done. Suffice to say, they are dead wrong.
Now, for the problems.
First, one of the reasons I wanted to see this was because I like William Forsythe, and, to be sure, he had a good role. Unfortunately, he just wasn't seen that much. Clearly, they had managed to land a "name" draw, but were unable to pay him for the duration.
Second, the directing and/or the script. Like I had noted previously, the directing was competent, but in order to create suspense, you have to do better than that. Too many derivitave scenes here, one lifted directly from the original "Alien". Yes, I know that these sort of things are expected of flicks like these. That cuts no mustard with me when you obviously have the components to make something better.
Lastly, the Monster. Yes, I know I said that it was pretty decent above, and it was, for a Man-in-a-suit. My problem with it is this: Why would something anthropomorphic come up from the bottom of the ocean? I mean, it should be like an eel, or giant lung-fish, or crab, or a squid-thingy, but human? I realize they never explained exactly what it was, and there lies my second problem with it. Not that everything has to be rationalized, but if you aren't going to do that, then at least make the creature something that one can truly believe might come out of the sea.
Now, it is possible that, after reading all the negatives here, my expectations were lowered so that I was pleasantly surprised by it (you see, I'm yet another jaded film-goer). I guess the main problem with this movie is that it isn't good enough to cover new territory and it isn't bad enough to be funny, setting it squarely in the middle as a rather pedestrian viewing experience. But, if it had been a made-for-TV film, most would have considered it one of the better ones. It surely blows away most "made-for-SyFy" features. In fact, in terms of watchability, think of it on a level with some of the lesser Stephen King adaptations for television.
In closing, I have to say that the only real fault with this movie, albeit a major one, is that, though not bad on its own, we've all seen it done before and done better with "Leviathan" and "Deep Rising". Only recommended for genre fans, but, if you truly are a B-movie creature-phile, you'll watch it regardless of the carping (get it? Carping...sea monsters, heheh) it will elicit. Go on, you know you want to.