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Bill Jones Review of Open Water
 © Copyright 2004   Bill Jones    World Rights Reserved

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open Water, Photo by Laura LauLos Angeles California:  Open Water (The Movie) dove into wide release at theatres on August 20, 2004.  This independent film was made for about $130,000 and was sold to Lions Gate Films for $2,500,000 at the Sundance Film Festival.   It is a typical independent film with poor editing, grainy photography, and jerky camera work missing the quality created by tripods, hydraulic cranes, and steadicams used by professional film makers.

The story jumps right to the disastrous boat dive within minutes of the opening titles and movie-goers have no reason to even care about these divers since there is no real character development at the beginning of the movie.  The Divemaster makes a few standard jokes during his briefing, a know-it-all diver forgets to bring his mask, and a female diver can’t clear her ears and aborts the dive.  Miles from shore, twenty divers go on to make a typical recreational dive.  The dive is un-eventful until the boat leaves the dive site before the last two divers surface.  The movie audience shares about 70 minutes of boring and predictable dialog as the divers bobble on the surface before the shocking and depressing ending.

The movie carefully avoids telling audiences where the dive resort is or what certification agency was involved.  The divers encounter more sharks at the surface than the average diver would see on a week of baited shark dives.  We do learn that the couple have earned “Open Water Diver” certifications.

The music selected doesn’t match the film's locale and doesn’t inspire one to go on a tropical vacation.  I suggest you save your movie money and use it to go on an extra dive during my next Cozumel trip.  I would give the movie a rating of 1 fin.

Read More About It:  Open Water, The Movie

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