Whiteout (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner10/09/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Whiteout has a good premise and a likeable lead, but it goes rapidly downhill and is ultimately disappointing, thanks to confusing direction, an anti-climactic finale and an 'Is that it?' plot that makes less sense the more you think about it.

What's it all about?
Directed by Dominic Sena (from a script credited to two different sets of brothers – never a good sign), Whiteout stars Kate Beckinsale as US Marshal Carrie Stetko, who's taken a post at a remote research station in Antarctica in order to escape a traumatic incident in her past. As her posting nears an end, she's considering turning in her badge, but her departure plans are put on hold by the discovery of a mysterious body on the ice.

As she investigates the region's first ever murder, Stetko encounters a masked, pick-axe-wielding killer, who is promptly ignored in favour of further investigation elsewhere. Aided by friendly pilot Delfy (Columbus Short) and UN Investigator Pryce (Gabriel Macht), Stetko becomes convinced the murders have something to do with the cargo of a Russian plane that's been under the ice since the 1950s.

The Good
Whiteout peaks early with an entirely gratuitous scene involving Beckinsale stripping down to her underwear and taking a shower. From then on, it's downhill all the way, as the mystery makes less and less sense as it goes along, occasionally pausing for an embarrassingly cheesy flashback to the traumatic incident in Stetko's past (which turns out to have no bearing at all on the plot).

That said, Beckinsale makes a likeable, watchable lead and there's good support from twinkly old Tom Skerritt as Doc.

The Bad
The set-up is intriguing, but both the premise and the unique location are quickly squandered by a script that bears all the hallmarks of reshoots and re-editing. As a result, the climax of the film is a real 'Is that it?' moment, whilst the actual mystery falls apart completely the moment you think about it.

Similarly, the film's key set-piece (a deadly game of guide-rope-based cat-and-mouse in a vicious snowstorm) is badly directed in that you can't tell who's attacking who, or who's attached to what.

Worth seeing?
Beckinsale's performance ensures that Whiteout remains watchable (you'd happily watch another thriller with the same character), but the end result is disappointing, thanks to confusing direction and a nonsensical plot.

Film Trailer

Whiteout (15)
Whiteout has been reviewed by 1 users
01 Shaun the Sheep Movie (tbc)

Shaun the Sheep

02 The Minions Movie (tbc)

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

03 The Interview (tbc)

Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, James Franco

04 Black Sea (15)

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies

05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stev...

Content updated: 22/12/2014 02:50

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves come to the end of their journey in the third and final part of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's novel.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films