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Overall Rating
1.86

Awesome: 2.78%
Worth A Look: 5.56%
Average: 11.11%
Pretty Bad: 36.11%
Total Crap44.44%

4 reviews, 12 user ratings


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Whiteout
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by William Goss

"If Only They Would Stop, Collaborate and/or Listen"
2 stars

Barely anyone lives in Antarctica, so it sticks out when someone dies there – more to the point, when someone is murdered there.

But that’s why we have U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) on the scene. She volunteered to be stationed there after things went south in South Beach two years back, and now she’s chomping at the bit to return to warmer climates. However, so long as she’s stuck at the South Pole, those pesky homicides fall under her jurisdiction, and this one’s a doozy. How does a scientist end up without gear and without a pulse so far from his base? Why was he out that far to begin with? Where have all of his colleagues gone to? Who exactly is killing the resident geologists of Antarctica, and over what missing MacGuffin? And who would roll an exposed corpse down a crowded corridor anyway?

It’s a mystery on paper (in Greg Rucka’s graphic novel of the same name), but there’s precious little mystery left in the version of Whiteout that has landed on screens after years of shelf-sitting. At best, this whodunit had a nifty setting, but the sight of a killer re-hooking his line at every rope junction tends to negate the plausible peril of our heroine losing the line and her bearings altogether. By the time that three characters find themselves in a similar chase towards the end of the film, they can only be distinguished by the audible grunts that accompany individual close-ups on hooded figures in blizzard conditions.

Beyond the few action sequences, director Dominic Sena (of the moderately entertaining Swordfish and that Gone in Sixty Seconds remake) struggles to get much more than stilted line readings and pensive looks out of a cast that includes Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short and Tom Skerritt, and the four credited writers seem as dedicated to crafting a screenplay as lazy with flashbacks as it is lousy with dialogue. Beckinsale’s marshal inevitably has a tragic incident in her past, and if the actress could have just been trusted to explain what went down with her proven dramatic chops, we could’ve been spared the relentless repetition of one botched arrest as depicted in one gaudy scene. Similarly, when Beckinsale’s marshal displays her inevitable forensic prowess, we’re shown the film’s 1957 prologue involving a crashed plane in quick but adequate bursts, which in turn proves how much brisker the film might’ve been if that entire sequence had been ultimately relegated to said bursts and nothing more. Early on, Sena does manage to ensure that Beckinsale has a gratuitous shower scene, and yet it’s one in which nothing is exposed. A better film would have us believe that we needed a chance to see the vulnerable woman beneath all that Kevlar and all those heavy coats in this harsh landscape, but the scene is ultimately just there for the sake of being there, just as Stetko is there with no greater purpose than to make sure that we connect all the dots well before she does.

In the end, and during the middle, and even towards the beginning really, 'Whiteout' doesn’t thrill so much as thaw out, mostly muddled in its scenes of action, mostly frustrating with its scenes of investigation, and mostly dedicated to making sure that we never again get trapped in such a desolate environment for entertainment.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=17088&reviewer=409
originally posted: 09/11/09 14:45:26
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User Comments

1/25/11 mr,mike An OK cable watch. 4 stars
5/13/10 DK Mediocrity exagerrated to the nth degree. Beckinsale is okay though 1 stars
1/22/10 Lois Teem Why all the hatred for Australians? Guess to someone they're not from far enough down under 2 stars
12/25/09 Job Lowe So-so movie. Kate Beckinsale is hotter with 8 fingers than most actresses with 10. 3 stars
12/17/09 Lenny Zane Not Bad. Kate Beckonsail's best movie since ALICE THREW THE LOOKING GLASS. 3 stars
10/11/09 His_wife35 Pakistan for them in twenty years hard work. , 4 stars
9/21/09 lamppostinn.com Knowing how your device hardware is wired does not necessarily tell you how its resources 3 stars
9/18/09 laidbacklarkin terrible. lacklustre. dull. plodding. completely clueless. utter waste of time and money. 1 stars
9/16/09 PAUL SHORTT A WHODUNNIT THAT SLOWLY BECOMES A "WHO CARES?" 1 stars
9/16/09 www.nc.esc.state.us This contrasted with parallel titles of the same names which contained conventional hardboi 3 stars
9/15/09 utMwFXGqo doors.txt;10;15 5 stars
9/12/09 Paul Sucks. The Trailers make it out to be a great thriller movie. Horrible movie. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Sep-2009 (R)
  DVD: 19-Jan-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Sep-2009
  DVD: 19-Jan-2010




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