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Leviathan (1989) Review

Leviathan is a 1989 American film directed by George P. Cosmatos and starring Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, and Amanda Pays. The film was released on June 30, 1989, by 20th Century Fox.

The plot follows a group of American oil workers who are trapped in a North Sea oil rig after it is taken over by Soviet terrorists. The workers must find a way to escape before the terrorists can execute their plan.

The film was met with mixed reviews from critics. However, the acting, direction, and action sequences were praised.

The film was a box office success, grossing $46 million against its $24 million budget.

I thoroughly enjoyed Leviathan. The acting was top-notch, the direction was great, and the action sequences were thrilling. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone looking for a good thriller.

Tri-Oceanic Miners accidentally stumble upon an old wrecked Soviet ship at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. After retrieving some artifacts locked in a safe, strange things start to occur to a couple of the crew members. It turns out they’ve been hitting on the vodka, except this is no ordinary hangover. The vodka has a mutagenic component in it, which causes whoever drinks it to take on a different form. Well, sadly for the crew, the 2 members turn (absorb together) into a rather nasty carnivorous beast intent on killing them all. With a hurricane going on above, when can they expect a rescue? Will there be anyone left to rescue?

Leviathan is one of the many underwater horror flicks that emerged (pardon the pun) in the late 80’s. Arguably one of the better ones. It has grade A production values, top of line SFX and a roster of some well established actors. Sadly though it lacks a lot in terms of originality. Essentially all Leviathan is, is Alien underwater. A small group of miners being terrorised by a horrid creature in a very confined and dangerous environment.

Probably the most striking thing about Leviathan is the creature itself. The late great Stan Winston team, comprising of Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr are responsible for it’s creation and whilst it borrows from the formula of what makes a good monster, it’s still a lot better than other Alien wannabes.

Jerry Goldsmith also gives us a foreboding and atmospheric soundtrack which does wonders for the movies feel and suspense.

The main characters of the movies are decently written and the actors look like they’re enjoying themselves (when not being chased around). Peter Weller (Robocop) has the main lead and protagonist of the movie; trying to survive and do what’s best for the folks under him. Richard Crenna (Trautman in Rambo) puts in a decent performance as the somewhat blas√© and half-hearted Doc. His character does wonders for creating mystery and dread in the story and Crenna plays it to a tee. Ernie Hudson’s character Justin Jones is the counterbalance to Doc, he brings levity and some of the lines his character has are brilliant. All round the acting standard is fine.

So is Leviathan worth recommending? I’d say yes. Lovers of creature flicks are bound to enjoy this movie and other folks looking for a casual bit of sci-fi orientated horror should enjoy it somewhat. Just remember it’s not the most original of movies but it’s still entertaining, even 20+ years since it first came out.


In the near future, the Soviet Union and the United States are on the brink of nuclear war. In an effort to prevent this, the two countries agree to a joint operation to destroy a Soviet nuclear submarine. However, the mission is complicated when the submarine’s captain, Marko Ramius (Alec Baldwin), decides to defect to the United States.

Now, the American team, led by Commander James Ferris (Peter Weller), must not only stop the submarine, but also prevent it from reaching American waters. As the situation deteriorates, Ferris and his team must race against time to stop the submarine and prevent a nuclear disaster.

Leviathan is a gripping thriller that explores the complexities of the Cold War and the human capacity for destruction. With a stellar cast that includes Baldwin, Weller, and Sam Neill, Leviathan is a must-see film for fans of political thrillers.

Movie Details

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Writer: David Webb Peoples
Actors: Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Amanda Pays
Release Year: 1989