Judge David Johnson was taking a bath when his rubber ducky abandoned him. It was terrifying.
Fatigue. Hypothermia. Death.
I somehow missed this when it made a splash (bam!) on the theatrical circuit. Now that I've finally gotten around to watching Open Water, I have to say: "eh." Please note this is different from "meh." "Meh" is an aggressively irritating Internet colloquialism signifying severe apathy. "Eh" acknowledges the allure of something, despite the fact that it falls short of one's expectations.
So Open Water gets a big, fat "eh" from me. It's a unique concept and admittedly a risky conceit to build an 80 minute feature around. While I appreciate the venture, I found it all…well, boring. Lethally boring. Once the gimmick wore off and I realized we were just watching two people tread water, occasionally dodging shark bites, my eyes glazed over. Points, though, for the dark ending.
Open Water 2: Adrift
Open Water 2 follows the exploits of six high school friends who get together for a fun time on a yacht. Unfortunately for them, they're idiots and forget to lower the ladder when they jump off the boat. And you know what means? That's right! More bobbing around hopelessly!
The stakes are higher in this installment mainly because there are more potential victims. Also, there's a baby on the ship and you sort of feel bad for the waterlogged parents. But that's all the emotional investment I could summon for these characters.
Sure, it sucks to be them, but I had hard time empathizing with their plight because a) no one was interesting or likable, and b) the solution to their situation is obvious (and, needless to say, occurs to these buoyant brain surgeons at the very end, when it's too late to save anyone's life or prevent me from punching myself in the throat the next time I hear a splashing sound effect).
The technical specs: Open Water looks alright in 1.85:1 1080p, though it's shot with a low-budget, home video style. This adds a bit to the authenticity of the ordeal and makes sense for what director Chirs Kentis was going for. As such, the HD quality doesn't leap off of the screen, providing just a mild bump in clarity and color. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio doesn't do a whole lot either, since the sound is simplistic dialogue and splashing. Open Water 2 is just flat-out disappointing. The 2.35:1 1080p transfer is grainy and surprisingly low-res for a Blu-ray release. For a film that should pop with its sun-blasted setting, Adrift is awash in mediocrity. Another DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track and this one has a little more to do: a crying baby, bigger waves, and a thunderstorm!
Extras: Open Water features two commentaries from the filmmakers and actors, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. Open Water 2 only offers up a full-frame behind-the-scenes documentary.
The original is less guilty than the follow-up, but this isn't a trip the bench I'm interested in taking again.
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