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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Movie Review - Whiteout


Movie Title
Whiteout
Year
2009
Genre
Action, Suspense, Comic Adaptation

Story
The movie starts 50 odd years ago, with a few Soviet soldiers trying to kill each other over some mysterious loot on a plane flying over the Antarctica. Their actions causes the plane to crash in the desolate Antarctic wasteland.

Cut to the present where U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale),, ready for a transfer back to warmer climate, is just 3 days away from leaving the Antarctic research complex before the winter arrives (that would leave the continent in darkness for the next 6 months). However, a dead body is discovered at remote location on the continent and piloted by resident pilot, Delfy (Columbus Short), she flies there to perform her investigative duty. As this is Antarctica's first ever homicide, the United Nations wanted the case “handled” well, and Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht, whom we last saw in the Spirit. *), a UN investigator, is brought in to assist.

*Review for the Spirit: http://jmerb.blogspot.com/search/label/Comic%20Hero

In the course of her investigation, she encounters the murderer, a mysterious bad guy, clad in winter-gear & wielding a pickax in temperatures of -55 (note the negative!). Although she manages to escape the assailant‘s clutches in their first encounter, the scuffle causes her to lose two fingers to frostbite.

All this leads to a final showdown with the murderer after the entire research facility and staff have left Antarctica. Those who were, due to contextual circumstances, stranded behind were Carrie’s trusted friend, Dr John Fury (Tom Skerritt), the pilot Delfy, UN investigator Pryce, Carrie and of course the villain!

Flashbacks were liberally inserted thru’out the movie to shed some light on Carrie’s battered self-confidence and trust issues due to some bad stuff that went down with her partner in Miami, Florida.

Acting
The acting is all around believable (can’t really say the same for the physics applied for the story environs) except for Gabriel Macht as Agent Pryce, whom I find to be quite stiff.

The villain was a little over the top (kinda like how Samuel Jackson and Al Pacino are over the top).

Overall
Some viewers may not know that this is yet another movie that is based on a comic book of the same name by writer Greg Rucka.

Kate looked absolutely stunning in the movie. Audiences may find it a tad hard to believe Kate as a US Marshall based in Antarctica where temperatures are sub-zero on a good sunny day. So it would be impossible for people to be moving around a snowstorm with their noses and mouths exposed (see photos).

The Flashbacks in various lengths repeated several times over the course of the movie weren’t used effectively and were quite distracting instead of helpful. The frostbite effects and CSI & autopsy processes were a tad too graphic.

Aside from those gripes, I quite enjoyed the movie despite it getting a lot of flak from the reviewing community.

Rating: 6/10

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