A deepsea miner takes a swig of past-its-best vodka and croaks it, reappearing eight hours later as a horribly mutated creatue intent on savaging the rest of his understandably claustrophobic crew.
It looks almost as expensive as The Abyss, it's got a hackneyed creature-on-the-loose script along the lines of Deepstar Six, but Leviathan is closest to a slavish and waterlogged remake of Alien. Stuck underwater in a mining facility off the coast of Florida, Daniel Stern — in the John Hurt role — drinks some genetically altered vodka, dies of a rash within eight hours and turns into a fish-faced monster. The rest of the crew, again like Alien, are a grouchy mixed-sex, mixed-race, blue-collar bunch, keeping up a constant stream of nervous patter to punctuate the script's sillier stretches, of which there are many.
Given this, and the familiarity of it all — a multi-functioned monstrosity, a two-fisted heroine wandering around in white underwear, a final countdown to disaster that leads to the destruction of the ship etc. — Leviathan is a surprisingly enjoyable widescreen rip-off. The cast give good value for money, the slimy tentacles and panicking victims fairly fill the screen and the noisy score will be best appreciated in loud, cinematic stereo sound.
A safe, effectively jumpy transfer of Alien to the depths that restores the fear of Jaws into an environment momentarily softened by The Abyss.