Movie Review: The Abyss (2023)

Synopsis: Honoring her father's legacy by being the safety officer for the Kiirunavaara mine in Sweden, Frigga, in the middle of divorcing her husband, Tage (CEO of the mine), involved with another man, Dabir, and trying to keep her family together, is also watching as the neighboring town is systematically relocated due to the dangerous conditions the mine is starting to create. This evacuation plan is accelerated when the mine begins to collapse, threatening the total destruction of the town. However, Frigga's son, Simon, is missing, and needs to be found before they can leave.

Who's in it? The movie stars Tuva Novotny, Kardo Razzazi, Felicia MaximePeter Franzén and Edvin Ryding.

Review: I was in the mood for a movie last night and, since I didn't have any pre-planned, scrolled through Netflix until I came across this one. At first, I thought it was a remake of the 1987 film by the same name but, after reading the description and seeing it was something different, my wife and I decided to watch it. We didn't hate the film, but it wasn't as good as we hoped it would be.

I'll start out by saying there were a couple things about the movie I thought were refreshingly unique. In particular, it was a disaster film featuring a disaster everyone expected and were even preparing for but were just caught off guard with the timing. This, in my opinion, added a whole new element by showing even the most prepared people may not be as prepared as you think. Frigga (Novotny), for example, was good at her job but still didn't know about an old mine shaft that had been hidden, leading to the sudden collapse.

I also thought some of the townspeople's responses were pretty realistic as well. They were being relocated for their safety but were taking time out of packing to protest the decision to leave historic buildings behind. It's the kind of thing I get but, priorities people.

The family dynamic in the movie worked but was also very predictable. The second the love triangle between Frigga, her ex-husband (Franzén) and her boyfriend (Razzazi) was introduced, I told my wife one of the two men would die to make it easier for her (spoiler alert, I was right). The rebellious teenagers meanwhile were basically carbon copies of plenty of other teenagers from similar movies. I'll agree they weren't as bad as some of them but still nothing overly special.

My biggest problem with this movie was, for a disaster film, it was actually kind of dull. The movie spent way too much time on the family drama, even long after it should have taken the backseat to the more pressing issue of the mine collapse. And while there were some decent action scenes, some of them seemed a bit forced. In other words, some of the action probably could have been avoided completely had the characters just made a better and more logical decision, such as lowering Frigga into a trench to rescue Simon (Ryding), a situation that ultimately put five people in danger, rather than just throwing the latter a rope and pulling him out. It kind of felt like the filmmakers were just trying to pad the runtime with stuff like that.

Final Opinion: It's honestly not a terrible movie and does have a valuable lesson about the potential dangers from mining. I just wish it would have had a bit more "oomph" to it.

My Grade: C+


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