Apparently truly being king of the world requires you explore every nook and cranny of it.
“James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenge” is a documentary about director James Cameron’s quest to build a submarine that would take him to the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean and discover what lies 36,000 feet beneath the waves. Though the film is primarily a scientific exploration it also touches on Cameron’s reputation as a task master and the consequences his leadership style and drive have both on his team and the task. It’s certainly a pretty impressive feat to attempt but the question remains, is the movie as impressive as it’s subject matter.
Eh, probably not. I think for a movie like this it really comes down to how much interest you hold in the topic at hand. If you find deep sea exploration interesting, you will love this movie, if you’ld rather chew glass than think about what lies below the ocean’s surface, well, good news, you don’t have to do either, and also I doubt you’ll like this movie. Now for me, I enjoyed the exploration, as I’m usually a fan of these type of pioneering endeavors, so I found much of the movie to be really engaging and interesting. It actually kinda reminded me of those museum movies, that you watch on your way in, that supposedly give you the information you need to enjoy the museum, but really serve to space out people’s entry so it doesn’t get too crowded. They often seem very academic and informational and I actually kinda like that. And this movie is no different. It was kinda refreshing to see an old school documentary that simply taught me something rather than trying to indoctrinate me. Plus there is an event halfway through the shooting of the movie that brings a true human element to the proceedings that I found to be raw and vulnerable.
But the bad thing is there really isn’t much beyond that. As interesting as the information is, there isn’t much that would make this stand out over many shows already on the Discovery Channel. It’s interesting to watch how Cameron’s arrogance and curiosity combine with his wealth to make it happen, but there really isn’t much payoff to it other than the thing itself, other than some out of nowhere forced underwater wristwatch commercial, but that’s about it. In fact I found much of the story and footage of Cameron’s previous dives to The Titanic and a war ship that were included in this to be even more interesting than the ultimate trek to get to the bottom of the ocean, which should tell you something about the overall experience.
By the time it’s over, “James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenge proves to be an interesting and informative look at what it takes to explore the untouched depths of the deepest part of the ocean. If you love science and are curious about exploration you might have a lot to like here, but If that doesn’t interest you there won’t be much here to hold your attention. For me, I thought it met the challenge to the tune of a B-