The Canyon Richard Harrah

The Canyon Richard Harrah
If someone were to take Open Water and Limbo, remove any semblance of originality or characterization, and dump it in the Grand Canyon, it might resemble The Canyon, a movie with a handful of decent moments and reasonable performances, but also hokey dialogue and freshman quirks aplenty. Mimetically, it focuses on the honeymooning exploits of Nick (Eion Bailey) and Lori (Chuck's Yvonne Strahovski), as they venture into the Grand Canyon with a couple of mules and an unwashed, drunken cliché of a tour guide (played inelegantly by Will Patton). Since, at its core, this is a film about the dangers of male ego and deviation from the norm, the moment the trio stray from the confines of their tour permit, rattlesnakes attack, leaving someone incapacitated and the others panicking. Before long, water runs out, wolves show up and extremely graphic injuries mount. While there is something commendable about keeping the film within the confines of survival instincts and mostly compassionate human dynamics, never resorting to unlikely character twists or forced arguments, a by-the-numbers script leaves everything predictable, all the way down to the perfunctory ending. We never doubt that Lori's instincts are superior, even while whistling subversive to the tune of her new husband's idealistic whimsies. This leaves only animal attacks and disturbing moral decisions to keep things engaging, which Strahovski and Bailey energize, despite having only two-dimensional characters to work with. Limitations aside, The Canyon would be a pleasant treat to discover on late night cable one night, if no prior knowledge was held going in. Included with the DVD is a brief "behind the scenes" montage, along with a "making of" supplement that features actor interviews and location discussions. As they did shoot in the Grand Canyon, this proves fairly intriguing, unlike the bland deleted scenes and Yvonne Strahovski casting session. (Mongrel Media)