Saturday, January 8, 2011

WHITEOUT

Kate Beckinsale, Tom Skerritt, Gabriel Macht,
Columbus Short, Alex O'Loughlin


"See your last breath"


HBO




In this icy thriller drama, Kate Beckinsale is a U.S. marshal racing to solve a series of murders in Antarctica before research facilities are locked down for six months due to the fierce polar winter. The crimes have something to do with a downed Soviet cargo plane which crashed in 1957 and is now buried under the massive ice slopes.

Whiteout's opening scene where a plane plummets towards its doom on crusted ice shelves might deceive you into thinking that you are in for a whodunit suspenseful thriller. So you will only get disappointed if that is what you expect.

Then it flashes forward to current times, where U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Beckinsale) has taken the worst assignment possible to banish memories of a bust gone bad in Miami. A dead body is discovered by Stetko and she suddenly has to solve the murder (which has links to the earlier plane crash) before they should leave in order to escape from the harsh 6 months when the sun decides not to show up and bitter winds and snowstorms blast you beyond freezing point.

The movie seems to strive on bad dialogue, the presentation of a myriad of characters (who could all be the suspects) and staging action sequences during blinding blizzards. This makes it doubly hard since you can hardly recognize the characters since they are all covered up in thick hooded parkas.

As a U.S Marshall, Beckinsale doesn't seem particularly tough, authoritative or knowledgeable. She also has a pathetically blank slate throughout the film. Maybe the extreme cold weather affected her acting skills. Equally, the supporting cast led by Tom Skerritt could only do so much to give some warmth to a film that is as barren as its setting. Then Whiteout's hack-and-slash sensibility just turns it into a CSI: Antarctica Edition with the anticlimactic ending thrown in just for the heck of finally finishing the film.

I'd say it is just another 96 minutes to waste on a Saturday evening parked in front of the telly!

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