I can’t handle this. I’m typing this review while my wife watches Sex And The City, and those irritating awful women are boring into my brain. Then again, it may be a blessing in disguise. Because although I am having trouble concentrating on writing the review, that also means that I am not thinking about Whiteout very much. That’s a little bit of a relief. Because this movie is obnoxious.
It’s a murder mystery, see, but it takes place in Antarctica. Which is the Big Difference between this movie and other low-grade, made-to-order murder mysteries. The thing is, a Big Difference should make a movie more interesting than it otherwise would be, not less. As the title suggests, much of the drama in the movie comes from the fact that Antarctica has a lot of whiteouts – snowstorms where nobody can see their hands in front of their faces.
The fact that the bulk of the action sequences in this movie happen during those whiteouts is not interesting. It is annoying. If I can barely see what’s happening, then there is nothing to interest me. And if I can see what’s happening, then it can’t be that bad a whiteout, can it? Why are they clipping themselves onto that wire so they don’t get lost in the snow? I can see them! And the building is right there!
Another annoying thing about a movie set in Antarctica is when that movie stars someone as ridiculously hot as Kate Beckinsale. Anyone could have played her U.S. Marshall-stuck-in-the-frozen-south role. Beckinsale is a great actress, but in this movie she’s not much more than eye candy. Without the candy for the eyes, because she is in a parka throughout the whole movie. Oh, there’s one gratuitous underwear scene thrown in early in the film. It’s actually one of the few gratuitous underwear scenes in movies that I support. It turns out that in Whiteout, it’s the only scene with something to look at.
By the 20 minute mark of the movie, I had already pegged the bad guy. In colour-by-numbers mysteries like this one, it’s always that character. The more the film tries to set that character up as the likeable, friendly, couldn’t possibly be evil person, the more you know that they will turn out to be the bad guy after all in the end. Then there’s Gabriel Macht, who also plays a role that could have been played by anyone. I guess he’s eye candy for the women. You know, also in a parka.
The killer is obvious at the 20 minute mark, Kate Beckinsale was in her underwear long before that. And then the movie is just a big long blizzard with a killer who chases our heroes with a series of unusual weapons like a B-grade slasher film villain. Falling over chairs, lunging and slashing but just missing, sticking his hand through the door to go after the good guys and of course never really coming close to killing his targets. So, in other words, it sucks. If you’re willing to pay the rental fee for twenty minutes of vague drama and a brief shot of Kate Beckinsale in her skivvies, then go for it. But I wouldn’t.