Front page of current issueContents of current issue
What's in Festivale, including cover stories, the tour, indices, and what's new
what's new, Festivale's revision history Go to the online shopping mall where all the on-line stores areThe Bookroom: News, reviews, linksReel Life: The movie section with film commentary, coming attractions and release dates, links pages and more.Technology BytesFestivale's guide to Melbourne and Victoria, photos, maps, linksFestivale's guide to Melbourne and Victoria, photos, maps, links

A Reel Life film section

Issue: Jun 2009

The Abyss (1989) movie review

Adventures Beneath the Waves


He's a man's man who makes his money running an underwater mining rig. She the bitch is heels whose brilliant mind designed the rig. An accident on a submarine and the need to get salvage from it brings them together for the adventure of their lives.

The Abyss has the advantage of a unified vision. Films written and directed by the same person can have the most cohesive story, the writer and the director seeing the same things in the characters, the same message in the story.

Bud (Ed Harris) is in charge of a motley crew who must work with a team of Navy Seals and Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) is the woman whose work is being threatened by the forces of politics and nature.

Movie poster, The Abyss, Festivale film review; 220x323

Movie poster, The Abyss
There's everything you've ever known about adventure, and then there's The Abyss.

This film was marketed like a horror film when it was released, but it is pure science fiction. There are two main versions, the director's cut includes plot lines and some important characterisation not included in the theatrical release.

The ideal cut of the film is somewhere in the middle, but except for the awkward and patronising final lines of the film, this is a film that rewards the viewer with an interesting story about believable people in an extraordinary situation.

Movie still, The Abyss, Festivale film review; 389x302
Bookmark and Share

Like us on facebook

Add your comments

by Ali Kayn
Australian release 1989
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Ed Harris (China Moon, The Cleaner, The Third Miracle, The Truman Show, A Beautiful Mind); James Cameron (Titanic
True Lies)
Search Festivale for more.

Just the facts:

Title: The Abyss (1989)
Written by: James Cameron
Directed by: James Cameron
Running time: 146 mins
Rating: M

The Players: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Kimberly Scott

Official website:
IMDb entry

For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.

For more information about this movie, check out the internet movie database.
For the latest additions to Festivale, check out the change history section.

Coming attractions, Movies by month, Australian movie release datesIndex of movie reviewscontents of current FestivaleA Reel Life movie section