Review: The Dive

The Dive gives ‘127 Hours’ an underwater twist in this survival film.

A 30-odd meter below sea level, off the coast of Malta, an American diver gets her leg caught in some rock and finds herself in this situation where a limb is jammed in rock. No do-it-yourself surgery is involved, spoiler alert.

Following is a smartly written race against the clock that was directed by Maximilian Erlenwein and co-written by Joachim Hedén. They include a lot of disasters in their story to hinder the diver’s escape. But I didn’t quite feel the vertiginous, clammy horror they were going for.

Drew and May, played by Sophie Lowe and Louisa Krause. Set out in a rental car to go scuba diving. There is undoubtedly animosity between the two.

Since May (Krause) and Drew (Lowe) only get together once a year to go diving. May is unaware that Drew (Lowe) has lost her journalism career. But as cliff erosion sends massive chunks of rock pelting into the sea, it’s May, the older sister who is strong, resourceful, and composed, whose leg is trapped by a boulder. Only 22 minutes of oxygen are left for her.

May sends her younger sister, who is cheerful but worrisomely erratic, to the surface to retrieve one of the extra tanks. Drew swims up and down for the remainder of the film in an effort to save her sister.

Due to the low visibility underwater, the soundtrack the sea’s eerie bass booms creates the mood. There are several tense moments on the surface, especially when Drew has two minutes to grab May’s extra oxygen tank but notices a boat close. Should she waste her time calling it down? Moments like this are filled with dramatic energy, yet the intensity is sapped by a cheesy narrative.

The Dive opens in theaters in the UK, Ireland, and Australia on August 25 and in Australia on October 19.

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