out of Five
Running time: 95
Thriller that cruises the same territory as Open Water, but ultimately fails because of its dislikeable characters and the fact that they clearly haven't exhausted all their options.
What's it all about?
When a group of six holidaymakers - including Alpha Male Dan (Eric Dane), his trophy girlfriend Michelle (Cameron Richardson) and new parents Amy and James (Susan May Pratt and Richard Speight) - decide to take a swim off their luxury yacht, they rather stupidly forget to put the ladder down and end up stranded. Despite repeated attempts to get back on board, their numbers begin to dwindle.
The main problem with Adrift is that it has been scuppered by the success of 2004's Open Water, which tells a similar story in a much more successful fashion. Also, there's only one really likeable character in Adrift (not including the baby) so it's hard to feel much sympathy for any of them, even if it is based on a true story.
The sympathy problem is exacerbated by the fact that the characters are extremely stupid. Worse still, anyone in the audience will be able to come up with at least three ways in which they could have tried to get back on board the boat for example, they never try and launch the thinnest, lightest character up onto the boat and they never try and get back on board by linking hands and trying to boost someone up.
Things get worse when the characters actually start injuring themselves (a fight over a knife here, an unfortunate clonk on the head there) and the sickening reality of their plight sets in. Unfortunately, it doesn't really create any tension, just a kind of depressing inevitability.
Adrift has its moments but it's a frustrating film in many ways and doesn't really work as a thriller unless you're a confirmed hydrophobic. If people meeting unfortunate watery ends is your thing then rent Open Water instead.