“Whiteout” has a good premise and a likeable lead, but it goes rapidly downhill and is ultimately disappointing, thanks to confusing direction, an anti-climactic finale and an ‘Is that it?’ plot that makes less sense the more you think about it.
Directed by Dominic Sena (from a script credited to two different sets of brothers – never a good sign), Whiteout stars Kate Beckinsale as US Marshal Carrie Stetko, who’s taken a post at a remote research station in Antarctica in order to escape a traumatic incident in her past. As her posting nears an end, she’s considering turning in her badge, but her departure plans are put on hold by the discovery of a mysterious body on the ice… read more [ViewLondon.co.uk]
It’s all fine, as far as it goes, but that’s not very far. Beckinsale is a trim and athletic actress, but she’s not a very compelling presence, and she’s burdened by too many overdone flashbacks into her tragic past. As her avuncular best friend on the base, Tom Skerritt twinkles and collects a check. As a mysterious newcomer — and possible love interest — Gabriel Macht is every bit as exciting and memorable as he was in last year’s “The Spirit,” and yes, I’m being sarcastic here… read more [nj.com]
The exterior sequences are vivid by comparison, but while he makes whiteout conditions look terrifying, they hinder viewers almost as much as the characters; the inevitable big showdown is a visual muddle of thickly blowing snow and identical-looking people in parkas battling over identical-looking safety lines. Briefly, not knowing who has the upper hand is exciting, but as the fight wears on, it becomes irritating. Then again, the way the rest of the story goes, we’re probably lucky Beckinsale doesn’t narrate the whole thing to make sure we don’t misinterpret a moment… read more [A.V.Club]
Kate Beckinsale has to be one of the most schizoid actors working. She careens from arty dramas like “Snow Angels” to schlock like the “Underworld” vampire series. Her latest, “Whiteout,” finds her on another slumming expedition.
Even a bad thriller can be entertaining, and this gory murder mystery set in Antarctica has a certain dumb fascination — up to a point. Then it is defeated by its sheer idiocy. The advertising will draw the core audience to the opening weekend. A huge drop-off awaits…read more [THR]
Being a U.S. Marshal overseeing scientists and other adventurous sorts in Antarctica is like being the mall cop of the tundra.
Not all that much happens.
But in Whiteout, Kate Beckinsale’s Marshal Carrie Stetko must contend with several grisly murders. She’s chased in bone-chilling wind by a hooded guy with a pickax in temperatures of 55 below zero, trapped many feet below the icy surface with waning oxygen. Still, her hair always looks perfect — even after being stuck in a furry cap or parka hood for hours… read more [USA Today]
The picture is based on a graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber, and the script was written by two sets of brothers: Jon and Erich Hoeber and Chad and Carey W. Hayes. All these scribes have disgorged a heap of nonsense with laughable dialogue (“Doc, this wasn’t an accident!”). Director Dominic Sena ( Swordfish) favors the flashy style of music-videos—lots of handheld shots and rapid-fire editing of images that never quite come into focus. A headache is guaranteed. The cinematography by Chris Soos takes advantage of the white-on-white locales (filmed in Manitoba and Quebec), and the eerie music by John Frizzell provides the frissons of suspense missing from the writing and direction… read more [Film Journal]
“Whiteout” contains exactly that experience, and as director Dominic Sena (“Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Swordfish”) puts all of the elements in place, the atmosphere and set-up is, for a while, enough to excuse the silliness and “Scooby-Doo”-style acting. The action takes place in a secluded science base in Antarctica! That box is from a Soviet fighter downed in 1957! But sadly, “Whiteout” wimps out, starting out like “The Thing” and winding up like “CSI: South Pole,” wasting whatever it has going for it… read more [NY Daily News]
To learn more about the plot and what it takes to shoot in the cold of Canada, check out interview with Kate Beckinsale, as well as her co-stars Gabriel Macht and Alex O’Laughlin below.