August, 1980: Raise the Titanic

1390273396_1If Raise the Titanic had stuck to the formula of the source material, a 1976 novel of the same name written by Clive Cussler, it might’ve been somewhat interesting. It didn’t and it isn’t.

The plot follows a third-rate James Bond named Dirk Pitt; a character that has multiple adventures in an anthology of novels written by the aforementioned Clive Cussler. He, and the American government, become aware that the Russians are after a rare mineral (Byzanium) that is believed to be on-board the sunken Titanic. It is said that Byzanium is one-hundred times stronger than uranium and it is suspected, by Dirk and his colleagues, that the Russians want it so that they can create a bomb that will wipe America off the map. This is a problem because the good guys want the mineral so that they can build an indestructible grid around the United States, since Byzanium can also be used as an infinite power source.

Like good Americans, the group wants to get there first and the plan is simple: fill the Titanic with high-density foam, attach dozens of buoys to the sides, lay dynamite at the hull of the ship, blow up that dynamite, and watch the Titanic ascend to its former glory. Sounds cool, right? The only problem is that “raising the Titanic” takes up what feels like 60% of the film and is highly uninteresting.

While there are some good practicals in this movie, including a large model of the Titanic, deep-sea submarines, and the actual “raising,” virtually everything else is poorly conceived and almost comical. It’s basically impossible to think of a solid performance, the script has more holes than the actual Titanic, and the attempted love interest is completely forgotten about a third of the way through the movie. It’s obvious that the crew thought it was a joke as well; if you watch the movie, after they raise the Titanic and it surfaces, there’s a tiny man operating a hand pump on the deck of the ship– a final farewell from the FX crew.

Matt's rating: .5/5
Gabe's rating: 1/5
Rewind Cinema composite: 1.5/10

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