I’d been meaning to see this movie for quite some time. A big Michael Crichton fan, I was actually quite terrified whilst reading Sphere; typically Crichton it was well written with interesting characters and a detailed plot.
The movie annoyed me right at the outset, with an overly theatrical introduction piece before actually getting to anything. Blah, bad impression. Anyway, after it started, things started to pick up. Unfortunately, this movie was at a disadvantage by default, because it was trying to make something out of a book. I’m always disappointed when this happens – there’s just too much stuff that happens in books to fit in a 2 hour movie.
The actors that were chosen to play the relevant book characters were pretty decent. Samuel L. Jackson in particular was good in his role as the arrogant mathematician Harry. The development of the characters was pretty hurried, but you still got a pretty decent idea of why they were all there.
The movie was an interesting combination of “made for TV” and pretending to be a book, divided into several “chapters”. This didn’t really do anything great for it, but didn’t detract too much, so I sorta just accepted it, and moved on. A few nice underwater special effects – I was annoyed, however, at the lack of a giant squid.
To cut a long, boring story somewhat short… overall, the movie was average. It was watchable, preferably if you hadn’t read the book first. However, it did do a pretty good job of trying to cram in all the things that happened in the book. It left off the sneaky (aka, typically female) Beth bit at the end though, dammit.
Verdict: see it, if you’re bored. If you’re not that bored, get out Abyss instead, its got Michael Biehn and more guns and aliens and stuff.