THE 7 ADVENTURES OF SINBAD
The 7 Adventures of Sinbad is another of The Asylums mockbusters and was released three days before the big-budget Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010). There was the expectation that Prince of Persia would be a big hit and spark off a revival of the Arabian Nights adventure. Only this didnt turn out to be the case and the film flopped badly. Still you can see what The Asylum were planning with The 7 Adventures of Sinbad a low-budget effort that jumped aboard the Arabian Nights trend that Prince of Persia presaged.
There have been numerous Sinbad films before, the best of these being the first two of Ray Harryhausens trilogy The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and to a lesser extent Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). There have been numerous others Sinbad films from older efforts like Sinbad the Sailor (1947), Son of Sinbad (1955) and Captain Sindbad (1963), to the terrible Italian Sinbad of the Seven Seas (1989), the animated Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists (2000) to DreamWorks Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003), tv movies like Sinbad and the Minotaur (2011) and tv series like The Adventures of Sinbad (1996-8) and Sinbad (2012 ) none of these particularly standout. What is common to all of these is the Arabian Nights setting with Sinbad in a sailing ship encountering various fantastical creatures, rescuing princesses from the clutches of black-hearted viziers and sorcerers. This is the staple of every Sinbad film.
Expecting such, The 7 Adventures of Sinbad proves exceedingly confusing when the film opens and is set contemporary, where Sinbad is not a sailor but the CEO of a corporation. You keep expecting that once the film gets the characters abandoned on the desert island there is going to be some plotting convolution where Sinbad is going be thrown back in time and/or gets to commandeer a sailing ship but this turns out not to be the case. The film remains entirely bound to the desert island for almost all of its running time it has more in common with a lost world adventure like Mysterious Island (1961) and in particular The Asylums recent The Land That Time Forgot (2009), which had various contemporary travellers abandoned on an island via a time warp. About the only point that Sinbad does get to go sailing is when he and the primitive girl he has picked up along the way commandeer a bathyscaphe at the end of the film which is surely about as far away from a traditional Sinbad film as it is possible to get.
While half of the film is spent trying to wrap your head around the idea of a contemporary Sinbad, you eventually have to admit that The Asylum pull off a passably cut-rate adventure. The scenes early on in the piece with a giant squid dragging a tanker down to the depths look extremely cheap down around the level of The Asylums Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009) but improve considerably after that, even if the encounter with a giant crab immediately subsequent to that is offset by the laughable image of Patrick Muldoon going bug-eyed and yelling Craaaaab. Giant crab. The other creature effects emerge with a sufficiently cheap competence, even if the appearance of The Cyclops comes nowhere near holding a candle to the same scene in Ray Harryhausens The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
The plot that stitches everything together has been minimally sketched Bo Svensons corporate takeover scheme is extremely vague, nor are we ever sure why the tanker sinking to the bottom of the ocean and Sinbad and crew being transported to a mysterious island is suddenly causing weather to go amok and the world to come to an end. The alien that turns up at the bottom of the ocean at the end to offer a magical out of the blue last minute solution has been borrowed outright from The Abyss (1989).