Thursday, September 10, 2009

Movie Review: Whiteout

Director Dominic Sena (Swordfish, Gone in Sixty Seconds) brings us yet another film based on a comic book, Whiteout. Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), the only US deputy marshal assigned to Antarctica, must investigate the first murder on the frozen continent. But she only has a few days before the long winter begins and all flights are shut down for six months. She crosses paths with UN operative Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht), also investigating the murder. Tom Skerritt co-stars as a physician nearing retirement. And together, they go through a series of laughable and mostly non-suspenseful twists and turns as fatalities pile up and the killer tries to stop the investigators before they get to the killer.

The action doesn't all take place in the present. Somehow, another incident that happened on the continent over 50 years ago ties in. And, of course we have the obligatory flashbacks to an occurrence that shook up Stetko so badly that she questions her abilities and has trouble trusting anyone. So is everyone who they seem in the current day? You know the answer.

A major problem I had with this "thriller" is that Beckinsale (Serendipity, Pearl Harbor) is miscast in the role. She definitely is better suited for comedy and romance. Overall, the acting is pretty poor -- but you cannot totally blame the stars with the material they've been handed. The script has so many holes, I was thinking that maybe the four writers (yes, four) were sniffing some whiteout? Or maybe the whiteout spilled all over the script and blocked out the better parts? Early on, we learn that it is so cold on Antarctica that you can die outside within five minutes. But you'll have fun counting how many times the writers forget that fact. I only wish I left after the first five minutes of the film. If you're keeping track, I recommend that you see any movie I grade as a B- or higher. So, as you see below, do yourself a favor and skip this one. [Rated R; opens tomorrow]

Grade: C


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