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Whiteout - They should have used it in this script!


Whiteout (2009)

I am the wind and the snow. As the snow, I cloud all that can be, covered under a thin veil. I nip at the butts of actors as they try to perform in a two-dimensional farce. And as the wind I blow, just like this movie . . .

First, the tagline for “Whiteout” (according to imdb.com) is “See your last breath”. Had I read this before I watched the film, I would have watched something more captivating, like “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”.

The movie is about U.S. marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), who is working in Antarctica and wants to quit her job. I know. What a stretch. There is a murder or two and she has to “close the case” before winter sets in and she’s stuck there. Brace yourself for a complex string of twists that create a web of intrigue.

Watching this firm, I knew I was not seeing another variation of “The Thing,” which is a great movie also covered in snow. Much as the snow added to the desolation of John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, it has the opposite effect here. In “Whiteout,” the snow provides a way for the audience to try to connect to a movie that has absolutely nothing worth connecting to.

The first sign that this movie was a bust was when they exploited Kate Beckinsale’s body in a completely useless look-at-me-strip-and-jump-in-the-shower scene. The only plus here is that Beckinsale doesn’t start off the movie being bitter. Sure, she wasn’t bitter at the start of “Tiptoes,” but that was probably because she knew she was in a movie with Gary Oldman. It was nice to see her not be so serious at the start of a film.

The “Whitehouse” screenplay, by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, is by far the movie’s greatest weakness. As I entered the third act I could not help but think, “Why bother making this film?” The film is pointless. If there was something character-wise that I could connect to as an audience member, I might not have wished the screenplay for this movie was covered in its title, “Whiteout”. The bad guys are obvious and the plot is as thin as its tagline.

There are some lame, pointless flashbacks that are poorly shot and try making Carrie a more three-dimensional character. The flashbacks cement the fact that she is just another cop that is quitting the force, and we’ve all seen that more times that we should have.

Performances are standard. There isn’t much meat for the actors, so they gnaw on the meager bones they’re thrown for far too long. It’s cool to see Tom Skerritt again, as I can’t recall the last time I saw him in a movie. It’s too bad Skerritt’s character didn’t have more to offer. Beckinsale provides her usual “just enough” performance. It’s hard to tell if she can actually act, but is just stuck in poor films (“Pearl Harbor” included), or if she really doesn’t have much to offer as an actress.

“Whiteout” is a sub-par attempt at filmmaking (directed by Dominic Sena) but it is reasonably well-shot, with the exception of the flashbacks. There are times the shots are overly complicated with digital snow effects and some lighting problems plague the film, but shot selection is decent.

Frostbite is the most compelling thing this movie has to offer.

To further drive home the point of this movie’s suckage refer to Rotten Tomatoes “Worst of the worst!” just above Glitter. LINK



Official website:

Whiteout (2009)


Directed by: Dominic Sena
Written by: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Tom Skerritt

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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