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Leviathan Reviews

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Super Reviewer

June 16, 2010
Leviathan has gotten a reputation of being a rip-off of Alien, thus many critics of this enjoyable B Movie have been unfavourable due to its similarities to Ridley Scott's classic film. Leviathan is an action packed ride that delivers a story very similar to Alien, except it's underwater. The film was directed by George P. Cosmatos who also directed the sequel to Rambo, Rambo: First Blood Part 2. Cosmatos has a good eye of what makes an effective action film, thus he was able to create a fun, and effective Sci Fi action horror film with this film; despite him using Alien as a template for his story. I personally think that Leviathan doesn't deserve all the flack it has received. Despite the fact its derivative from other films, this is still an entertaining film to watch. Stan Winston who created some stellar effects in other films such as Aliens and The Terminator created the effects for this film. However, this time around his effects are less spectacular. Nonetheless, the film is fun, entertaining and in the end a pure popcorn flick from start to finish. Although the film is nothing new, it's still a pleasant film to watch. I think that the film is better than what most critics have claimed it to be. The fact is, it's a clear rip-off of Alien, and because of it, people are quick to dismiss it. However, if you're looking for a mindless monster flick with a familiar formula, then give this film a shot.

Super Reviewer

May 28, 2011
In a mining corporation "Tri-Oceanic", the company hires civilians to work under the sea for 90 working days. The man in charge is Steven Beck (Peter Weller), who does his best handling his crew members (Amanda Pays, Ernie Hudson, Hector Elizondo, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher and Daniel Stern) and the doctor in staff (Richard Crenna). Like any other working day under the sea, two of the crew members has discovers an sinked Russian ship named "Leviathan". When they looked around, one of them has discover an safe. All they found inside is a pictures, a vodka bottle, a video tape and a flask of vodka. Which the crew member found in the safe has taking it without his boss seeing it. When he starts drinking it, along another crew member drinking it secretly. Then they both gets sick, one of them died quietly and the other committed suicide. The doctor, who knows the Russian language well. Along with Beck, they watched the video and they discover the Russian crew are actually scientists and they were playing god. Now these two dead crew members are having generic alteration and slowly turning into the unknown. When the crew tries to get rid of these bodies and putting it out to sea. Parts of the creature got inside the vessel. Now starts killing the crew, one by one. While Beck's boss above the sea (Meg Foster) warms them, they can't escape. Since there's an major storm coming. Now the crew has to do anything to stay alive.

Directed by George P. Cosmatos (Rambo:First Blood Part 2, Cobra, Tombstone) made an entertaining, familiar Sci-Fi/Adventure/Horror/Thriller. They were two Science Fictions films about under the sea back in 1989. One was Sean S. Cunningham's cheap looking but horrible "Deep Star Six" and James Cameron's underrated "The Abyss". Since this feature and the two others were major box office disappointments. The premise isn't really nothing new but director Cosmatos has an good cast at work here, the production designs by Rob Cobb (Conan the Barbarian, The Last Starfighter), imaginative creature work by Stan Winston studios, good looking cinematography by Alex Thomson (Alien 3, Death Line, Legend) and fine music score by Jerry Goldsmith (Gremlins 1 & 2, The Omen, Total Recall).

"Levithan", it's far from a perfect movie. The screenplay by David Webb Peoples (Blade Runner, Twelve Monkeys, Unforgiven) and Jeb Staurt (Another 48 Hrs, Die Hard, The Fugitive) does have its problems at times but that hardly matters, the picture has a refreshing sense of humor and there's few memorable gory moments of suspense. This film of went on to be a cult favorite. Fans of Science-Fiction/Horror Genre will certainly like this one.

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2007
You gotta love any old skool effects sci-fi underwater movie, especially with Ernie Hudson. Some pretty great characters, i.e. Daniel Stern as Six Pack. Reminded me a lot of the Thing, although not quite as well done. I disliked that they needlessly killed Ernie Hudson in the last two minutes of the movie. It made his awesome survival into a 'we need a guy to kill at the end of the movie, so let's have him live until then'. Oh well.

Super Reviewer

March 3, 2007
Highly derivative "Alien under the sea" creature feature that's hugely unoriginal but reasonably entertaining. Hector Elizondo is always watchable, and Amanda Pays running around in her underwear will appeal to a certain demographic...

Super Reviewer

November 26, 2006
Breed an Alien with a Thing, marinate in salt water and you get Leviathan. I'm glad that Peter Weller, one of the crews, survives outta the deep water at the final scene.
Sean G

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2011
If you like Deep Rising or The Abyss....
Alec B

Super Reviewer

October 21, 2012
The characters and the setting are very clearly a reworking of 'Alien' (under the sea) and the monster is just a knock off of 'The Thing'. That said, its really just the ending of the film that's the most problematic. It moves way too fast and the finale has a brief moment of extreme misogyny that's played for laughs . . . which is pretty disturbing.
July 28, 2014
An okay Alien + The Thing rip off. Good cast, not super cheap. An almost convincing underwater effect. Good for a one time rental. A sold C grade flick. CHECK IT OUT
October 26, 2012
If you want to rip -off The Thing, The Abyss, and Alien, fine; just don't make your movie so boring. It makes the movie all the more shameless.
October 6, 2011
If you've seen 'Alien' or 'The Thing', you've already seen this. Despite being one of a million similar monster movies, I'd have to say this one is pretty above average.

A pretty good ensemble cast including Weller, Stern and Hudson, but obviously don't expect too much. The script and direction are middling, but nothing too bad. The plot takes a little while to get moving, but once it does, it creates some decently creepy moments.

The creature is pretty cool. I certainly wasn't expecting much from an 80's mid-budget monster, but Stan Winston never disappointed. Certainly an original and interesting critter. Beyond that, the story is fairly cliche, and I'm quite sure you can guess who lives and dies in the end about 5 minutes into the film.

Again, alot of positives, but its just not original enough for me to rank better. If you're looking for a good monster movie, you could do much worse.
steve c

Super Reviewer

March 30, 2010
the trailer is a straight up infomercial. "HUGE PROFITS HEADED YOUR WAY!" ala ron popeil himself. the movie sucked, i wouldn't pay $89.99 even for the laserdisc and standee.
September 15, 2008
I caught this one on television at some point, though I couldn't tell you after all this time if it was a network station or HBO or the like. Did I see it unedited? No idea. But it stayed with me as most monster movies do (and in those days, I tended to like them without exception or question). I picked it up finally, not as a desperate and necessary addition to my collection, but as a desired one, albeit a low priority. I'm just going to go ahead and admit the inevitable though: yes, I'm going to bring up Alien. It's inevitable because everyone who reviews this movie mentions Alien, because you have little business reviewing a movie like this if you haven't seen Alien. That's not a completely fair statement (I'd be interested, actually, in a review from a literate horror fan who had not seen Alien, but that's like wondering what a musicophile thinks of a pop song when they've never heard the Beatles--ludicrous to expect to find).

Beck (Peter Weller--yes, Robocop and Buckaroo Banzai) is a geologist who was recently assigned to a mining operation on the ocean floor by the Tri-Oceanic corporation. He supervises a crew composed of seven: Williams, an astronaut in training (Amanda Pays, whose name rang a bell but I assumed for no reason, until I saw her and remembered she was The Flash's Tina McGee, and that show was big in my childhood), "Six Pack" (good ol' Daniel Stern, this time as a sleazy pervert of a miner, the one who doesn't just whistle at women, he grabs flesh), DeJesus (Michael Carmine), Jones (Ernie "Winston Zeddemore" Hudson), Bowman (Lisa Eilbacher), Cobb (Hector Elizondo, whose character is named for Ron Cobb--more on this later) and "Doc" (Richard Crenna, he of hammy Rambo appearances). During a scouting operation for more silver and other precious metals, Sixpack disappears and they discover a sunken Russian ship which Doc identifies as the "Leviathan." When a mysterious skin condition gives way to a lethal underwater monster (which bears some resemblance to deepsea anglerfish), they must race to convince their employers to pick them up from the ocean floor and return them home--something Martin (Meg Foster) seems reluctant to do because of weather.

Every discussion of this film, as I've said, brings up Alien. Yes, yes, I'm sure there's an exception someone can find, but the great majority bring it up. Is it similar? Absolutely. However, it's worth noting that It! The Terror from Beyond Space is considered to be a pretty obvious genesis for Alien as well. And as others have mentioned, there are bits and pieces of The Abyss (naturally--it is underwater!) and John Carpenter's The Thing present as well. It does have a cynicism about corporations, but it's not quite so diaboloical, and almost ends up more believable in some respects because of this. Opposing characters are simply different personalities, not outright conflicts (viewers of Alien should know what I'm dancing around here, and know that it's not in this movie). But, yes, it's a claustrophobic film about a killer monster taking out working class folk who have no idea what it is. Honestly though--who cares? It's not as if we can see--oh, hey, look! There's Ash! Ripley! Lambert! Parker! Brett! Dallas! Kane!--a 1:1 ratio of similarities. Far from it. Overarching concepts and plot elements? Yes, admittedly. But nothing absolutely damning. It's difficult to make a monster movie that isn't about a claustrophobic space. Someone mining is very likely to stumble across something unexpected, far more than Jack and Jill office worker (It Lurks in the Water Cooler!). The cast holds their characters, who are certainly not amazingly rounded and three dimensional, but are easily discerned from one another and at least get some curvature (I suppose they're at least a slice of an orange, if not a whole one). I do have a weakness for Weller, he's in my list of actors who, when combined into a single movie, would cause the entire world to collapse from sheer awesomeness. I like Ernie Hudson a lot (who that has seen and loved Ghostbusters as much as I could say otherwise?), and Pays is a flash from the past, while Stern is always good at playing characters like that and Elizondo can always be relied upon to spout wisdom. Crenna redeems himself from his psychotically out of place performance in First Blood by having an interesting character here, one with some flaws, even.

And of course we have the design work behind the film. George P. Cosmatos directs, who some people have called hack (considering the reputation of Tombstone, I suspect this wild generalization is made in error), and he did direct Rambo: First Blood Part II, which was a little ridiculous, but this isn't a bad piece of work. But, again, the design might be the reason for that. Ron Cobb (I did say I'd get back to him!) was one of the production designers behind..oh, wait. Alien. Yes, we have a beautifully complex undersea station ("the shack") filled with all kinds of rounded corners and exposed piping, in that lovely, acceptably industrial style that Cobb does so stunningly well. The suits are apparently partly borrowed from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but they look far more like Cobb-style work, so even if he didn't design what was added, whoever else did matched his style well. Everything has an apparent function, as is often said of Cobb's work. And beyond that, the bizarre monster is designed by none other than Stan Winston. Ebert said it looked like recycling of his prior works, but I don't think that was the case at all. It's said that research of deep sea life was involved in the design, and it showed. It was peculiar and odd and misshapen (leading to the The Thing connection) but had elements of such beasts anyway. It is coloured like many of his creations (the predator, Pumpkinhead), with a mottled skin just off from human colouration, but in general looked more like a hideous accident melding beasts together than any of his prior work.

It's a fun film that doesn't need to be compared so incessantly. Just enjoy the bloody thing as a nice thrilling piece with good work behind it that just happens to be similar to other movies--as can be said of most movies in general.
July 11, 2008
A deep sea disaster flick on a par with the two others of 1989, ?Deep Star Six? and ?The Abyss?, only it?s an improvement over the others actually, as the team finds a weird alien looking wreck.
September 16, 2007
Good little movie. Peter Weller is always entertaining. Amanda Pays is always easy on the eyes. The two make a good combo. Story is a bit formulaic. Lisa Eilbacher is plain boring. The rest of the cast is good.
October 2, 2007
A wild trip on aliens only underwater what i'm afraid of.. There you have it thats my fear water shhh don't tell any one.
July 14, 2007
Pretty ridiculous but still not bad for its time. I like the Creature effects here alot better than Deep Star Six but the plot is so campy.
March 14, 2007
During the late 80's, a rash of underwater adveture/action/horror movies were made. Out of all of them, to me this stands out from the rest. With an incrdible cast, great effects(for the time period), and for a horror movie underwater, it gets top ratings because of the creture designs.
May 30, 2006
My god. This movie was terrible. The creature was the silliest thing I ever saw. I expected more from Jerry Goldsmith when it comes to the music. The camerawork was crap. The acting was laughable. The writing was even worse, especially the main character's line at the end, "Say AAAHH motherfucker!" I'm serious! I was laughing my ass off over how stupid this movie was. It actually almost started out well, but it got worse and worse and worse as it went. I give it one star for Richard Crenna.
August 17, 2014
Leviathan is a disappointing film. It is about deep-sea miners who are transformed into monstrous amphibians after discovering a sunken Russian freighter. Peter Weller and Richard Crenna give terrible performances. The screenplay is badly written. George P. Cosmatos did a horrible job directing. I was not impressed with this motion picture.
August 3, 2014
What happens when you combine Alien, The Abyss and The Thing. It may not reach the heights of those classics, but Leviathan is still a fun, unsettling ride. The monster is a bit hokier than most, but the cast of wonderful character actors keep things entertaining. Won't change your life, but still a solid creature feature.
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