Sphere title

Tag Line : Terror can fill any space

SphereAs the song goes, "There'll be no accusations...just friendly crustations under the sea.....under the sea...." or rather not in this case!

The US Navy have discovered a spaceship buried underneath the ocean, and so they ask Dr Norman Johnson (Dustin Hoffman) along with scientists Harry Adams (Samuel Jackson) and Beth Halpern (Sharon Stone) to accompany a specialist team to investigate it.

Having descended some 1000 feet to a research station on the ocean floor, they set out to explore the spacecraft, and having gone onboard discover the ship, which has been sat there for some 400 years, is actually an Earth spaceship from the year 2048 (maybe its the Event Horizon?). They also find a huge glowing sphere in the ships cargo hold which the crew were apparently trying to bring back.

Arriving back at the research base they report their findings to the Navy, and with there task finished they wait to be taken back to the surface. However, Harry decides to go back and have one last look at the sphere and subsequently disappears. Norman goes after him, only to find him unconscious next to it.

After brining Harry back to the base, they find that the Navy can't pick them up due to bad weather and so are forced to wait. This is where things start to go peculiar, one of the stations crew, Fletcher (played by rap artist Queen Latifa), is attacked and stung to death by Jellyfish whilst outside, and then the crew start receiving cryptic messages on the computer, apparently from the sphere itself who calls itself Jerry.

From this point onwards though, the plot starts getting a bit pointless. Instead of the story shedding some light on why these things have been happening, we are treated to more weird goings on, as they are attacked by a giant squid, and then the station catches fire, thus killing of the rest of the Navy personnel. Things get weirder (and increasingly more pointless) as multiple copies of 2000 Leagues under the Sea start appearing around the base (which might explain the appearance of the giant squid).

Although based on a book by Michael Crichton, the film is very reminiscent of "Event Horizon" which wasn't a very good film either (and in itself was reminiscent of Galaxy of Terror), what with weird things happening, that have been conjured up from the crews imagination. The plot was also too slow moving for my liking, and the performances were very flat all round, which is not what I would have expected from a cast of this calibre.

This all goes to prove that an $80million budget and a star studded cast does not necessarily a good film make.

Overall Marks : 4/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line : "A thousand feet beneath the sea, the blackest holes are in the mind..."

  • Director Barry Levison also worked on "Sleepers".

  • Rapper Queen Latifa appears in the supporting cast, playing the part of Fletcher.

  • Samuel Jackson filmed this at the same time as making Quentin Tarantinos "Jackie Brown". Working on this during the week and Tarantino's film at weekends.

  • Singer Huey Lewis (from Huey Lewis and the News) has a brief role as the helicopter pilot.

  • The end scene did not originally take place in a decompression chamber. This scene was added during reshoots as test audiences couldn't believe their characters survived, without weeks of decompression.

  • Liev Schreiber, who appears as Fielding, played Cotton Weary in the "Scream" trilogy.

  • The majority of the film was shot in a warehouse with specially constructed water tanks, as filming at sea would have been way too costly.

  • During the film we are told that the ship is covered in over 300 years growth of coral. However, this would be impossible as coral requires sunlight and so would not grow at a depth of 1000 ft.

  • The film is very reminiscent of the 1972 Russian sci-fi pic "Solaris" which was based on the novel Solyaris by Stanislav Yem. It has been thought that this might have been the inspiration behind Michael Crichton's novel.

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