Pioneer – film review

A conspiracy movie that centres on a North Sea diver’s gas mix

Wes Bentley and André Eriksen in 'Pioneer'

Set in the early 1980s, Pioneer is a conspiracy movie that opens 500 metres below the North Sea where Norwegian and American diving teams are competing to bring oil and gas to shore. All of which sounds terrific, until you realise the entire story is doggedly centred around whether or not the star diver, possibly drugged by a bad gas mix, nodded off for a crucial couple of seconds causing a major incident. Did he snooze or didn’t he? Why exactly did he snooze? And what form – dream? vision? – did this snooze take? A suspense drama devoted to one fleeting moment of sub-thermocline narcolepsy. If nothing else, a first.

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