Monday, May 24, 2010
Whiteout (2009) Dir. by Dominic Sena
U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko tracks a killer in Antarctica, as the sun is about to set for six months.
I haven't been very impressed by any of the previous films Sena had directed (Gone In Sixty Seconds, Swordfish, or 13 Graves) and I probably will be let down by the Season of the Witch movie he has coming out, so I don't know why I thought Whiteout would be any different. It fell flat just like I should have known it would. I enjoyed the GISS remake, and Swordfish far more than I enjoyed Whiteout. The movie starts out with a bang, including a shootout on a plane over Antarctica, then for the most part its all downhill from there. The next 30 minutes are just about learning how Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is resigning soon, and there is some incident from her past that haunts her. We also get to see that age has done nothing to damage miss Beckinsale what-so-ever as she probably looks better the older she gets. We get an ass shot of Miss Beckinsale that would make Michael Bay jealous.
Take that Megan Fox!
From there, we are introduce to good ol' Dr. John Fury (Tom Skerritt) and the relationship (non-sexual) he has developed with Stetko. The next ten minutes or so is a barrage of pointless characters getting too much screen time, and characters that turn out to be important be underdeveloped. Of course you can't guess who the killer is if he/she is barely in the film to begin with. What is a murder mystery, if they don't at least give you options to guess? Isn't that half the fun? The character I liked the most actually turned out to be Delfy the pilot (Columbus Short). Short really seems to have come a long ways from You Got Served, as he has had Quarantine, Armored, Death and a Funeral, and The Losers come out in the last few years. I am getting more and more impressed with his ability to act. The rest of the acting is all mediocre, and that includes the lovely Beckinsale, and especially Gabriel Macht, who just shows up half way through the movie, and it is never really explained thoroughly. I'm sure it is some ploy to draw suspicion to his character- It doesn't work.
Directing on this film just draws flat and it doesn't have the big cast to carry it like he had with Gone In Sixty Seconds and Swordfish. He never really plays off the natural good vs. evil contrast filming in an all snowy place gives you. There is something about a dark figure in an all white area that just gives the killer a shadowy death sort of look, and Sena never plays off it. The score does add a little bit to the tension, but not enough to revive it. There is really no character development on any characters other than Stetko, so it is really hard to care about anyone other than her character. The killer chase sequences seem to be the strong point of the film, but they are few and far between. I will say they are probably my favorite part of the film and that is because of the ropes. In Antarctica they have to use ropes to get from building to building, much like was done in The Thing. They add that element into the chase sequences, where even the killer has to switch his clip from one rope to another to continue to chase his/her prey. I really liked that part, and thought it was clever and cool. It was the highlight of the film for sure. All in all, I felt like I had lost an hour and half of my life to a film that just never wow'd me even though it had the potential. Rent it if you want, or I suggest borrowing it from a friend who owns it instead.
Entertainment Value: 5/10 Ice Axes
Cinematic Value: 4/10 Ice Axes