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"The Cove" Is Slick Like "Ocean's Eleven", But Still Not Filling Seats

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One of the common reactions from people who have seen The Cove is how the documentary is setup more like an action/adventure film. Louie Psihoyos, leader of the Ocean Preservation Society, and Richard O’Barry, a dolphin trainer and activist best known for his work on the 1960’s TV show Flipper, both set out to create a piece of work that would reach beyond the standard education doc and educate as well as entertain.

“Jesus, it’s a little bit daunting; I mean we thought we had this crossover film,” says Psihoyos in a new interview with Gothamist. “This film has action, adventure, was set up like an Ocean’s Eleven film, and at the end of the day, you know, you feel better for it. I think it’s a great date film, actually, because you want to see that hardcore guy next to you crushed, you want to see him crumble, you want to see a tear, you want to have something really interesting to talk about when you get back to his place? This is the film to do it. It makes the guys feel alright cause it’s got this action-adventure component, and for the women, it’s emotion-packed. It’s got everything. Except an audience!”

In fact, as Psihoyos says, some theaters are even starting to pull the movie due to a lack of interest. “Listen, we’re not even three weeks into it and it’s already being pulled, and some theaters where there’s an intelligent audience will hold onto it for maybe a couple more weeks, and then it will have a life on TV and DVD and maybe the award season shines on it so it’ll have some impact, but I was hoping for greater things for the movie at this stage. A year ago we were thinking, “Boy, we’re lucky to get distribution.” We overshot our mark. But you always want more, and it did feel like this is a movie that has a chance at changing the game, and redefine the way you look at a documentary.”

Obviously, one of the greatest results of this film hitting the public scene has been the delay in the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan. We say “delay” only because we suspect the Japanese will unfortunately continue the hunt once media attention surrounding the film dies down. But Psihoyos says we can all make a difference by getting people to see the movie. “The more people that see this film, the more ways it can be solved. So get other people to see it. The other thing is go to the site, and click on the action campaign. Take action. God, get involved with the environment. Get involved with your own life.”

Check out the rest of the great interview here. For a look at the spy technology used in the making of The Cove, hit the movie after the fold below.

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