Anyone else getting a minimalist version of THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US vibe from this? Plane crash, two survivors, a man and woman, long trek through the snowy landscape? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
The story looks like it’s about a pair of plane crash survivors, a man and woman, the woman otherwise incapacitated, and the man makes the hard choice to venture out into the wilderness in hopes of finding rescue.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Mads Mikkelsen (ETERNITY’S GATE , DOCTOR STRANGE , and the upcoming CHAOS WALKING ) and Maria Thelma Smáradóttir (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of).
Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing, we have Joe Penna, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming STOWAWAY (2020). Editing and Penna’s co-writer is Ryan Morrison, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of ROBIN HOOD (2018), ONLY THE BRAVE (2017), ALLEGIANT (2016), and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015). Composing the score is Joseph Trapanese, known for . Finally, the cinematographer is Tómas Örn Tómasson, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of.
Overall, this looks like it’s going to be damn good. Limited cast and if they do it right, it’s just going to be Mikkelsen acting with his expressions. Unless all he has is a look of dire the entire time, then it might be boring. Hopefully not.
This is my honest opinion of: ARCTIC
A man known simply as Overgård (Mad Mikkelsen) is a plane crash survivor and has worked out a system for survival: a large S.O.S. signal, fishing and eating, the works. As luck would have it, a rescue helicopter finds him. But as bad luck would have it, it’s during a snow storm and the helicopter crashes, leaving one pilot dead, and the co-pilot, a young woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), injured, but alive. He takes her in and finds her map, seeing that there is an outpost relatively nearby: a several day journey, though. Overgård decides that he’s going to risk the long travel, knowing that neither of them will last for much longer.
I don’t know if I agree with “one of the greatest survival stories ever told,” or even with a ten minute standing ovation, but I liked it and think it’s good.
Should I start with the negatives? Eh, sure, why not. Actually, to be fair, I don’t have a whole lot against the flick in general. I might ask during that climb up the rocks that weren’t on the map why Overgård didn’t tie the rope around him and just… I don’t know, roll further out, as opposed to simply pulling and trying to lift the young woman on the sled with his arms. I just feel like if he tied and rolled, even if he got tired, he’d be all like, “Well, I’m already on the ground, guess I’ll take a break for a minute. Sure, the result would be a bruised hip, but I don’t think he tried hard enough to get her up that wall. Especially since the journey seems like it’s a two to three day hike, as opposed to the long way around, which is at least double the time. Even just spending an extra day figuring out how to get her up there would have been a better investment of time.
Beyond that, it’s a very well-made movie. As I watched it, I felt for Overgård. When he caught a big fish and got excited, I got excited too. When he found a functioning lighter to use for his little pilot light, that itty bitty flame and the way he looks at it like it’s been a lifetime since he’d been around warmth like that, you felt that blissful heat like he did. When that wind picked up, and he and the young woman have to be huddled together for warmth, you feel both that cold. Of course, that could have just been the movie theater. Either way, effective.
There’s really not a whole lot to talk about. One of the reasons why is because I don’t think this movie does a whole lot that’s new or unique in terms of survival flicks. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s an indie film, and because I stayed for a Q & A at the Landmark in Hollywood, I can appreciate the passion and hard work that the filmmakers put into it. Divorcing that from the final product, yeah, it’s a competent flick that does its job. Mikkelsen sells his role, some of the cinematography is nice, is has its visceral moments, but I just can’t comment on this movie without commenting on better ones. Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, even Shailene Woodley have all delivered more engaging performances. Mikkelsen is just there to react to his surroundings, but still be seen a prototypical good guy. I made the joke that this is basically MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, except… you know, far better. At least this movie didn’t do any weird boinking between the man and woman. So there’s that.
Overall, this movie is good. However, I’m not going to lie, I can see myself forgetting about this. It does mostly everything right except stand out. That’s about it. As a recommendation, I think the movie doesn’t need to be seen in theaters, but is definitely worth a rental.
My honest rating for ARCTIC: 4/5
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