The entire span of undersea life is represented in this collection of highlights from BBCs Blue Planet wildlife series. From savage killer whales in the Arctic to jellyfish ona coral reef, stories are told through stunning photography rather than words.
Nature lovers and stressed executives alike will find this a great companion piece to Winged Migration, last years soothing bird documentary. Though its visuals are taken from the BAFTA-winning BBC series Blue Planet, there are some key differences between this big-screen foray into the deep (developed by a German production company) and the show that inspired it.
David Attenboroughs narration has been replaced by a minimal commentary by Michael Gambon, whose theatrical tones suit a script more concerned with mood-setting than science. Theres also a new score that accentuates the drama and comedy of the action, with one sequence matching jaunty samba music to an army of busy sand bubbler crabs. And predictably given their source the images are jaw-dropping.
Diving birds weave between schools of dolphins and tuna, infant beluga whales are ambushed by a polar bear, and a bulbous octopus slides its lonely way along the bottom of a reef.
Best of all is the footage taken at ultra-low depths, which conveys an otherworldly atmosphere and presents a gaggle of fish so ghoulish that they have more in common with the cast of Monsters, Inc. than Finding Nemo. Its a little short for a movie, but still a powerful reminder of the marine wonders that few can ever experience first-hand.
The big screen adds extra impact to inspiring images which capture all the brutality, camaraderie and absurdity of the ocean. Worth catching even if you already own the superior Blue Planet box set.