The Abyss does seem to follow the formula for a paint-by-numbers blockbuster. It has an action-packed first act, an introspective second act and a riveting final act. However, writer/director James Cameron made a very personal film that expands upon this formula. There are several key factors which predicate this. The two leads he chose are exceptional actors who bring a true note of realism to the script. His technician's flare for details results in the most visually impressive underwater footage ever filmed. And his choice of ending makes The Abyss something more than a money-making product.
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