Die, already!

Rated 1.0

Over the past couple of months, the Hollywood Suits have been running around in circles, gnashing their day-glo teeth and rending their Armani’s with the mutual hue-and-cry: “Why does this summer’s box-office suck?”

Well, the BO lives up to its name because the ticket-buying public is sick to death of paying 7 bucks for “the suck.” And sending the summer out with a whimper, not a bang, is the interminable The Cave, a perfect example of the half-assed craptacular that Tinseltown has been palming off as popcorn entertainment.

The Cave isn’t a horror film: It’s a PG-13 compilation of elements that have proved effective in prior genre entries, yet are executed without the passion or creativity that made those movies special. One bad omen here is to market past-her-shelf-life-Lolita Piper Parabo as a marketable name (in the credits, they list the actors followed by “…and Piper Parabo).

With two massive strikes against her already (Rocky and Bullwinkle and Coyote Ugly), the wide-eyed mouth-breather swings before the pitcher even releases the ball. The only reason I watched this inert clump of celluloid all the way through (aside from being paid to endure it) was in hope that I would be treated to the sight of her dying. Bloodily. But this is a PG-13 timewaster, so no one dies bloodily.

The story: Thirty years after a team of explorers disappear in a giant cave in Romania (it’s cheapest to film there, see?), a group of X-treme hard body spelunkers take time out from voguing to enter the hole. They proceed to bicker amid more wooden-faced posturing before they begin to get picked off nine-little-Indians style by minimum-wage CGI effects. Way too much time passes between each death, leaving more time for bad acting and tin-eared dialogue. Even the internal logic sucks: if these critters want to possess the bodies of these homunculi so that they can escape the hole, why are they tearing them apart? Well, aside from setting up for a sequel (for the love of God, NO!).

The only answer I can think of is the filmmakers hated the actors as much as anyone else would.