U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is three days from the end of her tour at an international research station in Antarctica after which she'll resign. An incident from her past haunts her. The continent's first winter storm is coming when a body, wearing no gear, is discovered in the tundra. She investigates, soon finds more bodies, and must find a motive and a murderer before the storm and her departure. A U.N. agent, Robert Pryce, appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to help. An aging physician about to retire, a nervous mission chief, a downed Soviet plane, and the weather's deadly elements add to the story. Can Carrie trust Pryce and does she still have what it takes?Written by
Ever since The Matrix or thereabouts, mainstream action flicks have merged with fantasy. Of course The Matrix had justification, but we've seen the same superhuman, gravity- defying, too-cool-for-school characteristics attach themselves to even ordinary people in ordinary circumstances, and maybe it's gone a little too far. In WHITEOUT, our heroine is *not* a 10th degree black belt, *not* armed with 200 lbs of ammo, *not* able to do backflips over exploding grenades & such things as we've come to expect in movies. Instead, WHITEOUT gives us a somewhat sober & realistic portrayal of what "action" is like in the real world. It's almost like a throwback to the 70s when special effects played a minor role in films, and the human themes were forefront.
I'm not saying either type of film is inherently better than the other; all I'm saying is if you go into this film expecting "Ultraviolet" or "Resident Evil", you will most certainly be put to sleep within the first half hour. If, instead, you go into it expecting something more like the 70s classics "Coma" or "Stepford Wives" (where the heroine is human and fallible), I think you'll really enjoy this.
A lot of the film's power centers around the heroine's human side, and accordingly she reacts in human ways. When seriously injured, she doesn't brush it off with an "I ain't got time to bleed" macho attitude. She doesn't just take a swig of whiskey and calmly perform surgery on herself like we've come to expect from our action heroes. No, she cries like a baby which is what you or I would do if we just got sliced (admit it, tough guys)! She's not some soulless robot who can kill dozens of people without flinching. She, like a real human, carefully considers the repercussions each time she has to pull the trigger. Granted, this slows the pacing of the action considerably, but hey, welcome to the real world.
With all that in mind, the story is pretty basic as far as murder-mysteries-in-the-Antarctic go. But if you focus on the underlying human story instead of the thrills & chills, it's a refreshing change from the cartoony action flicks of recent years. For similar reality checks, I highly recommend "The Merry Gentleman" (crime drama), "Moon" (scifi), and "Exorcist 3" (horror).
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