Whiteout is a thriller based on the graphic novel of the same name. Like
many adaptations it had a long and arduous development cycle, and like
many adaptations the final result has had to endure complaints about its
differences to the source material. Sometimes these complaints are
justified, as the film loses what made the books o special. Others are
just people picking on small insignificant issues that no one actually
cares about. Whiteout falls into the former category, turning a decent
source into a forgettable by the numbers thriller.
plot involves Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), a US Federal Marshal
stationed at a base in Antarctica. She is haunted by demons from her
past which led to her eventual move to such an isolated area. When a
body is found, Stetko becomes a part of the continents first ever murder
investigation. Stetko must then race against the harsh Antarctic
conditions to find the killer and solve the mystery. The whole thing
moves at a particularly slow pace and the isolated and foreboding
setting does nothing to raise the tension. In John Carpenters classic
The Thing, the cold climate felt like it really added to the story and
helped to ratchet up the tension, whereas here it feels like the setting
could be interchangeable. Now the two are obviously fairly different
films but it seems like Whiteout could have learnt a thing or two in
regards to creating suspense.
story plays out boringly, and has a plot twist that is broadcast from a
mile away. It also contains a few ludicrous chase scenes with the
killer, who appears every so often and wreaks havoc like a villain from
a slasher film. Itís all rather silly really, and not in a good way.
Beckinsale tries to do her best with the material, and as always looks
absolutely stunning. Apart from that though there is little to recommend
about this film, seeing as there are many others where Beckinsale looks
just as lovely. The rest of the performances are good enough too,
although nothing really raises the bar.
film looks lovely with all the Blu-Ray trimmings, and if the Antarctic
never feels threatening in the film, it at least looks cold and
forbidding. The features are also a decent bag, with some deleted scenes
that donít really add much, and a much more interesting behind the
scenes look at how the film was made.
Whiteout is a bland thriller, offering nothing that is easily
recommendable as there is nothing that stands out about it. It is not a
terrible film, but it is by no means a good one. It looks very nice, but
then every Blu-Ray film tends to look nice, so that doesnít really work
too well in its favour. Ultimately it is a film that does not live up to
its source material, and some of the tensest moments from the book seem
lifeless when played out in the film version.