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Professor Kim, a marine geologist, recognizes the impending danger of a mega tsunami headed straight for Haeundae, a popular vacation spot on the south coast of Korea. He desperately attempts to warn authorities and alert the unknowing vacationers of the 500 MPH destructive force of nature headed their direction. Written by
This South Korean disaster picture deals with a wide range of people who at first are trying to deal with their personal lives but this all changes when a tsunami hits and they must fight for their lives. Apparently this film had the biggest budget for anything to come from South Korean and in fact I thought the special effects of the disaster looked pretty good but more on that in a bit. What really kills TIDAL WAVE is the first eighty-minutes, which is the time spent with the characters. It's clear that this film is just like so many American films in that we spend the majority of the running time getting to know the characters so that when the disaster does hit we care for them and want to see them survive. The problem here is that the majority of this is built around a bunch of comedy bits that simply aren't funny and in fact they really take you out of the movie. I'm really not sure what the purpose of these comedy scenes were but they should have been in a Laurel and Hardy movie and not something like this. Even the personal drama was pretty predictable as we are given the same stereotypes and same clichés that every disaster movie has followed since the 1970s. The film certainly does come alive once the tsunami hits and I thought the special effects were extremely good on the whole. Yes, there are some shots that are obviously fake but I enjoyed the imagination that went into them and we do get some pretty intense scenes. Still, after these scenes we fall back into the cliché routine with way too many scenes where someone is giving their live for someone else's and it just gets a bit repetitive after a while. TIDAL WAVE, on the whole, is a disappointment but fans of the genre will still want to check out the actual disaster bit.
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