‘Submersible’ Review: A Grimy, Claustrophobic, Deeply Generic Submarine Thriller

There are lost-at-sea thrillers that make a virtue of the leanness of their narratives.


Chandor’s “All Is Lost,” Wolfgang Fischer’s “Styx” and Chris Kentis’ legitimately traumatizing “Open Water” (not to mention Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” if we switch in space for ocean) all spun gripping tales of survival — or not — using minimal dialogue and very little character backstory.

But the pitfalls of this less-is-more approach are laid bare in and stereotypes.

In its familiarity, “Submersible” at least appropriately evokes such a sinking feeling.We’re engulfed in the action immediately, when the film opens, as the rickety, makeshift sub codenamed “Guadalupe” is already mid-crisis.

Its crew of three — secretive pseudo-captain Felix (Leynar Gómez), quiet, older engine maintenance guy Kleber (Carlos Valencia) and jittery, crazy-eyed wild card Aquiles (José Restrepo) — scrabble about the squalid, listing interior and decide in desperation to redistribute the weight on board by shifting their precious cargo around.

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