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Timely yet terrifying, The Flood predicts the unthinkable. When a raging storm coincides with high seas it unleashes a colossal tidal surge, which travels mercilessly down England's East Coast and into the Thames Estuary. Overwhelming the Barrier, torrents of water pour into the city. The lives of millions of Londoners are at stake. Top marine engineers and barrier experts Rob, his ex-wife Sam and his father Leonard Morrison, have only a few hours to save the city from total devastation. A real probability in a real location. It is not a question of if, but when London floods. Written by
Jonathan Rutter / Matthew Sanders
Out of nowhere mention of this film came from the media because of topical similarities to recent events here in the UK. Now Flood has hit theatres. Or rather a theatre.
A few weeks after the film's press coverage has ebbed from public memory. Devoid of any marketing presence and unscreened for critics, Flood has appeared at the Apollo Cinema in Piccadily Circus.
Perhaps it was a conscious effort not to appear exploitative. Or perhaps the distributor, Lionsgate, were not particularly confident in the product to give it a wide release. This one print release has all the hallmarks of a token outing. Just a contractual obligation to ensure the film does not get straight-to-DVD status.
Independently made, Flood is as bland as it sounds. An ambitious but wholly routine production which suffers from feeling rather too much like recent TV dramas such as Supervolcano and less like the Hollywood blockbusters it wants to be held in the same regard as.
While the disaster film is hardly the most critically popular genre the special effects vehicles do generally have a little more to offer the viewer than this film does. Generally something we haven't seen before.
The special effects are impressive but clearly copy scenes we've already seen. There is nothing creative in exchanging one set of landmarks for another.
Opening with a sequence styled directly from the Michael Bay play-book, Flood's narrative progresses exactly as one would expect. There are no surprises.
Powers that be struggle to come to terms with the situation and suffer ethical crises. The military attempt to seize power. And the heart of the film lies in a heavy-handed father/son rift that must be healed.
Tom Courtney is miscast as the scientist whom no one believes (ala Dennis Quaid in Day After Tomorrow) while Robert Carlyse is the film's male lead. One can't really describe him as a hero. Both actors deserve better than a routine film which shares it's name with an old Irwin Allen film and a recent TV movie.
In fact Carlyse is wholly ineffectual as a star presence in this film since he serves only to consistently remind those who've seen it of the excellent 28 Weeks Later. A novel, stylish and better made tale of a London apocalypse.
Almost the entire cast seem ill suited to their roles and the film as a whole. Only Joanne Whalley walks away with dignity. An oft overlook actress, she plays her role as well as it demands and shows up the unknown US TV star who is the female lead. Elsewhere Tom Hardy is wasted and Nigel Planer is an unusual face to see on the big screen. But aside from Carlyse it's the casting of David Suchet that's most notable.
The ministerial role he plays demands a high profile Brit. It's an attempt to lend the film an air of respectability. In Transformers Jon Voight was there amid the visual effects to serve a similar function. But as good as Suchet is the casting ploy fails. Just as it did in Executive Decision. Suchet and films have never quite gelled. He's no Rickman or McKellan.
Flood is worth a watch on a wet Sunday afternoon, it's certainly not a bad film. Just an unimaginative and forgettable one.
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