I do like catastrophe movies and natural disaster movies, however the vast majority of these movies turn out to be disasters themselves. And when I saw that this was a SyFy Channel and The Asylum collaboration, then I must admit that my expectations immediately dropped from mediocre to none. Why? Well, just look at the history of movies that have been spawned by The Asylum; not exactly the best of track records.
Regardless, I still continued on and progressed to watch "Oceans Rising", on the snowballs chance in Hell that this might actually turn out to be a good and enjoyable movie. At least I could be nothing but positively surprised by it with an expectation level of zero. But still, I was sitting with the impression that this will be one of those types of disaster movies where the entire world is in peril and a small group of people manage to thwart this and save the world from massive destructive natural forces. And that impression turned out to be true, and even the character Pam cemented that when she said "You're Earths last hope, Josh." Yeah, she actually said that!
And we are off to a positive start at least, with a cast ensemble of unfamiliar faces. That is something that I actually do enjoy in a movie, because I find it refreshing to see new talents, and who knows there might actually be some budding talents here waiting to sprout and impress. So that was a definite plus in my book.
One thing that really bugged me about "Oceans Rising" was the camera work, because the camera was constantly in motion. I loathe that kind of presentation of a movie, because it just has that whole home-made and low budget feel to it. Sure, some enjoy that; I don't! If I invest money and time into watching a movie, then I expect to be properly entertained by something that passes as a proper movie, and not by something that feels like I could have very well be the one who made it. So points off for the questionable camera work that was used throughout the course of "Oceans Rising".
And being a production from The Asylum, of course "Oceans Rising" came with some more than questionable CGI and special effects. But that hardly comes as a surprise, especially if you are familiar with the many, many movies that The Asylum has put out there.
As for the acting, well people were doing adequate jobs actually, despite having a generic script and weak storyline to work with. So they definitely had their limitations to struggle with in terms of having something worthwhile to guide them and steer them in the right direction.
I was somewhat baffled that there were no casualties and debris floating around in the wake of the first massive wave that Struck, especially with the sheer size of that wave. It just felt so amateurish and laughable. And even more so that it just came out of nowhere and with no alarms or warnings issued by the government instances.
Character-wise then "Oceans Rising" was adequate, at least in terms of disaster movies go. Generic and stereotypical? Sure. But they served the movie and storyline well enough.
Most of the movie took place on a small boat with a handful of people, so it was fairly limited in terms of story development, character growth and general ability for the movie to maintain interest from the audience. So this wasn't a particularly great accomplishment from writer and director Adam Lipsius.
After having watched "Oceans Rising" then I am still waiting for the day to come when a hundred foot tall fake CGI wave to come and wash me away.
Review by Paul Magne Haakonsen from the Internet Movie Database.