The Big Blue (1988)

Luc Besson directs Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette and Jean Reno in this existential sports drama where two deep sea divers compete to see who can stay under the under ocean deepest and longest without oxygen.

The first two hours of this epic are a seductive blend of once in a lifetime visuals and competitive yearning. Only James Cameron seems to share Besson’s obsession with aquatic exploration, macho extremes and love at first sight romance. Reno completely energises the narrative as the rival diver / best friend. Quirky, consumed and chaotic his strutting peacock is less antagonist and more confidant. Yet at three hours this does strain the patience… magical realism and shrill emotion can’t be sustained for that bum numbing length. Jean-Marc Barr is too blank a hero to care for, and his creepy dolphin obsession borders on taboo. Arquette is as alluring as ever as the outsider let into this tribal subset but by the last hour is reduced to a screeching nag. Messy but still way too spectacular to overlook.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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