Four men are tasked with fixing an oil pipeline hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface in the Somali Basin but quickly run into trouble in the new suspense thriller ‘Pressure.’
The four-member team include Danny Huston (American Horror Story, Made in Dagenham) as the experienced Engel; Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game) as team leader Mitchell; Joe Cole (Skins) as wet behind the ears Jones; and Alan McKenna (Belle) as Hurst. They are sent down into the deep blue sea in a tiny submarine-like vessel to investigate a broken oil pipeline as their ship stays on the surface. But once they are in position, a storm destroys their ship, while their vessel starts to shake and roll violently, ultimately landing on the seabed. A couple of them venture out of their vessel to investigate, and, in scenes of pure horror, they see the bodies of some of their fellow crew members from the ship floating all around them. At this point they then realize that they are literally in deep trouble. With nowhere to go, nowhere to turn, they attempt to use their radio to signal for help. Meanwhile, they have limited oxygen reserves, argue over the best way to ensure survival, and are ready to give anything a go just to get out of this life-threatening ordeal. They are met with almost certain death; the freezing water outside, the decompression sickness that could happen, their lungs rupturing, and most worringly, the diminishing air supply.
‘Pressure’ is a short 91-minute film in which the plot is quick to take hold, and the men are suddenly and quickly in trouble. And ultimately it’s up to the actors to convey the tension and drama while they decide and attempt to take matters into their own hands. ‘Pressure’ is a bit like ‘Gravity’ – where George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are trapped in space. In ‘Pressure,’ we have four men trapped in the opposite spectrum – at the bottom of the sea, and face the same problem – how to get back ‘home.’ But in 91 minutes we hardly get to know the men. We do know that they all have women in their lives, via flashbacks; Jones’ (Cole) girlfriend is pregnant, he really wants to survive to see the birth of his baby (we see sweet flashbacks of them early on in their relationship); Engel’s girl is shown in dream sequences as a passenger in a car he is driving; and in another dream sequence we see Jones literally being kissed to death by a mermaid. Does this mean he is not going to survive? It looks realistic and scary. Yet there’s not a whole lot more to ‘Pressure.’ While it’s a good film, with excellent special effects, don’t expect too much from it.
Perhaps if it were a bit longer to tell more about the characters and their personal lives and backgrounds we would’ve cared a bit more about them.
In cinemas 21 August and available on DVD 31 August
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.