Writer: Jonathan King, Matthew Grainger (Screenplay) Maurice Gee (Novel)
Starring: Sam Neill, Tom Cameron, Sophie McBride, Oliver Driver, Leon Wadham, Chelsea McEwan Millar, Nathaniel Lees, Matthew Sunderland
Plot: Teenage twins battle dark forces hidden beneath Auckland’s volcanoes.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Fantast Film
Story: Under the Mountain starts as we see Mr Jones (Neill) leading an expedition on a remote island where his team come under attack. Move forward a few years (I think) and we meet Theo (Cameron) and Rachel (McBride) twins who lose their mother in a terrible accident, the two have telepathic connection which leads the two to spend some time away with other family in Auckland.
Located in the middle of a valley of volcanos the twins find themselves attracting the attention on the neighbours Mr Wilberforce (Driver) and Mr Jones. The twins decide to investigate the neighbours only to find themselves being needed to fight what lives under the volcanos.
Under the Mountain comes off like a fantasy story we have seen before and with the potential of more stories I do think this could work. The problem with the film is that it tries to create brand new mythology which isn’t easy and where other films gain the reputation because people want to see. This is an easy to watch film but really isn’t going to change anything in the genre.
Tom Cameron: Theo is one of the twins who has lost his faith his twinning ability after their mother’s death but he has to come to turns with his abilities when the two go into battle. Tom is solid in this role but never as convincing as others from the same genre.
Sophie McBride: Rachel is the other twin who is the first to find out what happened to their mother, she is the one of the two who does believe in their ability which drives the force of Theo. Sophie does a solid job where she doesn’t reach the potential of stars in other roles within the genre.
Sam Neill: Mr Jones is the firekeeper who protects the world from the creatures escaping, he seems to have eternal life where he has to search for twins to take over the guardianship and defeat the Wilberforce. Sam is solid in this role as the one protector and information character.
Oliver Driver: Mr Wilberforce is the evil trying to escape from beneath volcano they are deadly and have the ability to transform into scaly creatures. Oliver is solid as this disfigured villain.
Support Cast: Under the Mountain has a standard supporting cast where get to see a good comic relief character but nothing else.
Director Review: Jonathan King – Jonathan gives us a solid fantasy film that does all you need it to do for the genre without being unique in any way.
Adventure: Under the Mountain does throw our character into this adventure which al works nicely but I do feel that we needed to see more of the adventure involved.
Fantasy: Under the Mountain does create a fantasy world which could create sequel potential with many more stories being able to come from this idea.
Settings: Under the Mountain keeps most of the settings inside a bay in Auckland which does work as we learn that the creature is below the surface waiting to be freed through the volcanos.
Special Effects: Under the Mountain doesn’t have very good effects going on through this one which is disappointing really.
Suggestion: Under the Mountain is one that you could watch late night on TV but otherwise you should really go out of your way for it. (Try It)
Best Part: The idea is interesting.
Worst Part: Feels very clichéd.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Could have one.
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Overall: Interesting idea that has a lot of potential within the story.