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Stars: Axsel Hennie, Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang, Stephanie Sigman, Jonathan LaPaglia, André Eriksen, David A Jorgensen, Janne Heltberg, Robin Hayes

Director: Erik Skjoldbjaerg

Deep-sea diving films normally leave me cold. But this thriller spends enough time above sea level and has sufficient suspenseful complications to make it worthwhile - if you can understand the plot.

It's the 1970s and Norway, with technical help from the USA, is preparing to examine the possibilities of running a pipeline along the deep-sea floor 500 metres below the surface to harness gas deposits found in the North Sea.

The rewards for success are enoromous. But things quickly go wrong on the first experimental dive. Bug-eyed Hennie, minus the toupé he wore in Headhunters, is the expert diver who goes down with his brother to check the effects of pressure. Something goes wrong with the gas, the 'habitat' floods and the brother dies.

One of the film's problems from here on is that we feel as overwhelmed by the technical jargon as the divers are with the gas. Or was it the gas? What exactly is a vengeful Hennie setting out to prove? There seems to be no tape of the fatal event, but when one does emerge, it doesn't seem to solve the mystery.

A Norwegian diving colleague suffers from seizures which meant he shouldn't have been at mission control, and it also seems that the Americans will stop at nothing to silence their Norwegian counterparts, as people around Hennie start to die, and he himself has more hairsbreadth escapes than his character in Headhunters.

If only things were clearer, this would be a rattling good thriller; but even so it's still a well-made one with some exciting sequences. Several characters, including co-star Bentley, are so equivocal we're never sure even at the end whose side they were on. Norwegian and English dialogue throughout, although the print viewed had English subtitles for the English dialogue!

David Quinlan

Norway/Finland/Sweden/France/Germany 2014. UK Distributor: Arrow Films. Colour by Film Factory.
110 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Apr 2014