The Cave (review)

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Shades of Moria, Batman! Atrociously mixed pop-culture references are nothing compared to the mishmash of elements from far superior creature features that got dunked into this aggressively mediocre film. A team of cave divers, led by the painfully bland Cole Hauser (2 Fast 2 Furious), descend into the Carpathian Mountains for a spot of exploration only to find their only known escape route cut off and — whoops! what’s this? — their motley band of action-movie stereotypes getting picked off one by one by some kind of demonic monster. It’s got horns and wings and everything, apparently, not that we actually get to the see the thing; the blood and gore doesn’t even live up to the limited “intense creature violence” the flick’s PG-13 rating promises. It’s as impossible to care enough about the characters to want to see them survive as it is to work up enough animosity toward them to enjoy watching them die; if it could be arranged for the inept director and screenwriters to make a foray into the cave, that might be a different matter. “Respect the cave,” spelunker Morris Chestnut (Ladder 49) intones ominously as the film opens. As if.

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