Run time: 120 min
Rating: 2.9
Genres: Action | Adventure | Drama
Director: John Depew
Writers: John Depew, Diana Porter
Stars: Jared Starr, Grace Young, Kate Bailey
A mysterious deadly vapor suffocates a small American coal town. Based on actual events.
Country: USA
Release Date: 11 October 2010 (USA)


  1. There are some films where stuff happens, and when that stuff has happened, more stuff happens. Stuff keeps happening until the end of the film. Whether you find the stuff entertaining is up to you. This is a film where lots of stuff happens, and if you find the stuff entertaining then you probably need a lot of therapy, or to come of those weird drugs you're on.

    The story revolves around another corrupt corporation that pumps tonnes of CO2 beneath a lake. Suddenly there's an earthquake and the gas starts to escape, bubbling up through the water of the lake, creating a vast cloud of CO2 that starts to fill the lake valley.

    Most people die quickly soon after the earthquake and the film is the 'heroic' tale of the survivors, struggling to escape the valley before their oxygen runs out. Yeah, right.

    Where did it all go wrong? For one thing, everything is far too obvious. You know that it's the fault of the big, evil corporation when you hear the 'lubrication speech'. You know the dad is bad because he beats his wife. You know someone is going to fall off the bridge because that's what happens with damaged bridges. You know the kid is going to survive because you can't kill a kid in a movie. The list goes on and on. All of this obviousness deflates all attempts to create tension.

    Then there's the science, which is complete rubbish. I won't provide too many details, but CO2 poisoning doesn't work the way it does in this film, and fires will burn under the conditions shown in the film, and, if a match won't light, then the hydrogen sulfide that appears late in the film won't burn either.

    The acting is just about OK. There are a few shaky scenes, but overall the acting is in line with most afternoon movies. The setting and scenery is OK, apart from the awful CGI bridge crossing scenes. Even the use of flashbacks to fill in the missing plot, that you've already guessed, isn't too bad.

    What this film lacks is any effort. There are no convincing actors, no convincing action, everything moves along at the same dull level with almost no variation. It's just a lazy production, with poor dialogue, an obvious plot, no tension and little entertainment value. Unless you suffer from insomnia, avoid this film, otherwise you'll be comatose in the first 30 minutes, just like nearly everyone in the film.

  2. CO2 clearly had noble intentions — which are as right as rain and average as white bread for these American times. We are poisoning our environment. Here is proof of it. Theoretically one could have had a fine Eco-thriller here. The cinematic execution is passable, about "B". The acting is awful, about "D+". The plot is "A-". Why such a tremendous imbalance? How did this happen? One cannot help but wonder if the self-righteousness of Environmentalism didn't get in the way here. That CO2's authors (director? producer? film company?) thought that this theme was so right, so morally correct that it couldn't go wrong, that they had a slam-dunk of a subject. But the film — like much Environmentalism — preaches instead of teaches. It lacks magic, also what's called "the moment" in theater — when the audience forgets they're watching a show. CO2 is relentlessly, simplistically didactic — Good (the intelligent women,the thoughtful scientist, the sweet, sensitive guy who's wounded and dies) versus Bad (the macho dad, the evil company head, carbon gas!) — didactic to the point of being a story that applies pressure without seduction. Such a shame. Such promise. Is this in the nature of the modern Environmental movement? Who or what is ultimately at fault here?

  3. Not sure what kept me watching… while this spoils nothing i 'm still going to SPOILER ALERT

    An evil green corporation is making money of carbon credits, but just like the all carbon credit pushers they do not let science get in the way. Anyway the evil green corp uses their newest up and comers to make a case that a further CO2 injection site is ready, an earthquake ensues and CO2 comes back out of the lake and their science team (completely oblivious to that companies operation side) has to struggle to survive. With stolen scuba gear they scientifically determine they cannot rescue any of the zombie-like townfolk lest they will die themselves and carry on to find refuge in a forest lookout station. There is a damn us all to hell moment, an obvious serious scientist, he is using a virtual keyboard, writes some high brow commentary a backdrop of windmills. LOL

    All in all plays like an Al Gore infomercial. At one point one of the scientists calls H2S HS2, while still establishing science cred. Also throughout they have various ways of using or not using oxygen tanks, seemingly wasting them, but magically they last. CO2 should have been thick white clouds at the lake was little wisps and allowed an extremely close approach even it was deadly oxygen displacing concentration before when a townfolk couple got caught up in it. Considering the unique landscape CO2 would have stayed in the valley by the lake but somehow manages to chase then menacingly about the movie.

    This movie must have been conceived and funded on the sole premise of making CO2 the villain in a disaster movie. Turns out as bad an idea as carbon credits.

  4. This movie refers to the tragedy that has happened at the Lake Nyos in August 1986 and it tries to show what could happen if there is a similar lake located in the States and if a similar incident would happen. Lake Nyos is a crater lake in Cameroon and there are in total 4 lakes in the world we know about that there might be a danger like at Lake Nyos. There are various documentaries about it, and well, I must say that those documentaries have been much more interesting than this movie. Everything is well played, so in my opinion it is an average drama entertainment, typically to be shown in TV. Nothing special at all, nothing bad, lame suspense though, nothing especially good to say about it, too. 4 stars.

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