Thursday, May 20, 2010


I have never been to Antarctica, and probably never will go (unless I cough up the 10s of thousands it would take to run the Antarctica marathon.  Not likely.)  Whiteout is as close as I'll get.  That's the best part of the movie: a portrayal of life at a research station in one of the coldest, harshest, most unforgiving pieces of Earth.  The conditions are almost unimaginable there; it's almost like living on another planet, in terms of resources, precautions, and living conditions.

Now, why the writers decided to stage this fairly standard story of murder and betrayal there, I don't know.  The conditions and isolation of the setting certainly add to the drama.  I particularly liked the chasing and fighting scenes.  In order not to get lost in "whiteout" conditions, people link themselves to tethers running between buildings.  No big deal when you're just going from one building to the next, but when someone with murderous intent comes after you with an ice axe, getting those caribiners open presents a bit more challenge.  Trying to have a fist fight with someone when you're in arctic cold gear and trying to navigate the tethers looks tough, too.
I enjoyed Whiteout, but did not love it.  It's a solid, suspenseful story, with some interesting back stories for the characters.  Other than the setting, though, there's not much to set it apart.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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