Living in Marquette we get our share of terrible winter storms, sub zero temperatures and cars buried in snow. While our winters can be harsh, it can’t even compare to the cruelty of the movie
“Whiteout.” It may seem ridiculous to compare the two, but I would take an extra month of winter before seeing this movie again. Based on Greg Rucka’s graphic novel, “Whiteout” follows Carrie Stetko (Beckinsale), the only U.S. Marshal in Antarctica. Three days prior to retirement, Stetko must solve the first murder in Antarctica’s history before winter storms disable travel. The investigation goes astray as an F.B.I agent mysteriously appears after an axe-toting killer escapes into the snow. After a plane is found, the two must work together to uncover a conspiracy that could affect the world. Numerous secrets lay below the ice, and Stetko must forget her past if she wants to solve them.
Kate Beckinsale (“Underworld”) seemed just as confused as I did with the script, but that’s no excuse for how bad her acting was in this film. Her character’s random moments of brilliant detective work make the movie progress like an episode of “C.S.I.” Gabriel Macht was equally horrid as a generic F.B.I. agent with a tough-guy attitude. Tom Skerritt plays the science station’s leader and does a mediocre job as a very general wise doctor. The supporting cast could not have been worse. From a pointless romance to a fake Australian accent, this movie has it all.
The plot attempted to be clever, but just ended up a complete waste of time. The first five minutes contained a gunfight in a plane, the movie title exploding and Kate Beckinsale in an unnecessary shower scene. At what point did they think people would take this movie seriously? After the ridiculous beginning, the movie crams an hour’s worth of mystery into forty-five minutes of nonsense. The plot holes in the story are so abundant that I still cannot think of the reason behind 20 minutes of this film.
The idea of Antarctica being a source for murder and mayhem has been done before and director Dominic Shena’s attempt to make the environment a difficulty fails horribly with scenes of suspense that seem unreasonable. The twists never seem ridiculous until “Whiteout’s” terrible finale of meaningless
revelations. After the opening gunfight, the movie slows down to a pace that is mind numbing. The second act speeds up with horribly choreographed fight sequences that defy logic and ruin the suspense of being stuck in Antarctica.
The camera work is surprisingly above average with long shots that show off the movie’s strong points. The special effects look like a film from 1998, with a plane crash that looks like it’s from a Sy-Fy channel movie.
The soundtrack by John Frizzell is original, and complements the beautiful scenery. However scenes of dialogue play with some of the worst music I’ve heard in a film, and should play in a teen drama. The sound effects are the highlight of this film with pounding winds and furious snow storms.
Delayed for over two years, “Whiteout” was plagued with budget problems and reshoots that obviously hurt this movie. The upside
of this film is the great looking shots of Antarctica and the fact the movie’s only 90 minutes long. Some people may enjoy this movie because it is simple mindless entertainment, but if you enjoy movies with relevant storylines, this one’s not for you. The finale may not be hard to figure out but holding back laughter may be impossible.