Reviewed bybkoganbingVote: 6/10/10
The Neptune Factor deals with some scientists who live and work out ofan undersea lab in the Atlantic Ocean. One fine day while their bosses,Walter Pidgeon, Yvette Mimieux, and Ernest Borgnine are up top, anearthquake occurs and the lab topples over into an underwater crevice.
Though an atomic power submarine could stay down there indefinitely theproblem is that crevice is way too small for one of those big boys. Asmaller type submarine able to withstand the pressures of the very deepis needed and that's where Ben Gazzara and his ship the Neptune comein.
As disaster films go The Neptune Factor is small potatoes specialeffects wise. It's a Canadian production and I've seen Hollywood comeup with worse films spending a ton more money than was done here.
The special effects such as they are, are merely movie films of someordinary species of marine life blown up several times their size,because these are the creatures the crew finds down at depths that manhasn't been before. It's beautiful undersea photography just like atrip to Marineland.
It's a no frills production, no subplots of any kind, no socialinteraction of any kind with the crew, just do the mission and go home.That's why it was given a G rating when first released.
If you love Jacques Cousteau, you'll love this film.
Reviewed byJHC3Vote: 5/10/10
Oceanlab is an experimental station built atop an undersea mountain inthe
North Atlantic somewhere off the coast of Canada. An earthquakestrikes,
causing the lab to plunge into an unexplored abyss. Three men aretrapped
aboard and they have only seven days of oxygen remaining.
After five days, the Oceanlab team is able to call in a retired navalofficer, Commander Blake (Gazzara). Using his deep sea submersible"Neptune II," it
is hoped he can locate and rescue the men before they suffocate. Thehope is a slim one; all contact with the lab was lost when theearthquake occurred. The submersible must face the hazards of deep seatravel, aftershocks, and some
very unexpected discoveries on the ocean floor.
The cast is unusually strong with Ernest Borgnine, Donnelly Rhodes,Yvette
Mimieux, and Walter Pigeon all putting in good performances. Thespecial
effects are limited to model work for undersea shots, but the modelsare decent enough given the year of release. The film starts out wellwith the opening
score being particularly noteworthy. Unfortunately, once thesubmersible gets in the water, the viewer is taken for a rather dullride for the bulk of the film. Suspense is largely absent. In lieu ofpacing, the filmmakers subject the viewer to a lot of stock fishfootage. While this was decent enough, it was overused and probablybetter suited to a nature documentary. Ultimately, the screenplay
needed some serious work. There is insufficient substance to make thiswork
even as a one hour Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode. "The Neptune
Factor" otherwise possessed all of the elements necessary to make asuccessful and compelling adventure film.
Reviewed byChris.Vote: 4/10/10
Not as exciting as the box cover artwork might suggest, with apainfully stilted characterisation by Ben Gazzara and capablesupporting cast trapped in one-dimensional roles. The story concernsmilitant, officious salvage expert (Gazzara) contracted by an aquaticresearch team to recover a stricken underwater manned probe that hasdescended into a deep sea ravine. Gazzara makes it clear from theoutset that his goal is only to locate the vessel for insurancepurposes, except Mimieux's companion is one of those aboard and she upsthe ante in spite of escalating challenges.
Pidgeon and Borgnine have little opportunity to establish anycharacterisation, while Mimieux simply frets and affects anxiety todemonstrate her 'depth' of character. The friction between her andGazzara is about the only palpable action in the whole picture. Thespecial effects consist of intense magnification of gold fish and otheraquarium species, while endless jolts and turbulence puts you in theenvironmental context. As far as dialogue goes, the technical specconsists mainly of references to rudder malfunction and oxygensaturation. Riveting stuff.
Disappointingly, the film ends abruptly where it could have developed amore convincing, compelling climax. After waiting 95 minutes, theaudience is treated to a Jules Verne moment in which 'giant' eelscorral the probe's survivors as they run out of oxygen. But just as theaction gains momentum, the film ends. Five more minutes of thatencounter might have earned another star, but this underwater adventureis mostly talk and no action.
Aboard the R/V Triton, the Project Neptune team is doing oceanographic research. Director Andrews is trying to keep the research going in spite of opposition from Foundation Head Sheppard. Below on the ocean floor, in the Sealab, the team led by Hamilton is about to return to the surface when the Sealab is ripped loose from it's moorings and sent careening into a trench. Trapped too deep for divers, the only chance is rescue by a new US Navy mini-sub, piloted by the arrogant Cdr Blake USN. Blake, Chief Diver MacKay, Diver Cousins & Dr. Jansen (Hamilton's fiance) dive in the mini sub to attempt the rescue of the trapped Hamilton & crew.