Sometimes films are much better ideas on paper than they are on the big screen. Whiteout was a graphic novel that was quite cool. As a film it is less so. No matter how much Kate Beckinsale, Tom Skerritt, Alex O’Loughlin, Gabriel Macht, and Columbus Short try it falls short. It can be a decent film if you are looking just to waste some time, but if you are really looking for a quality thriller then look elsewhere.
A research station in the Antarctic is where U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale – Underworld, The Aviator) has been assigned. It is a dull job that involves day after day of nothing. Because of something that happened between Carrie and her partner on a previous job that is just what she is looking for. She just wants to finish this assignment then resign. Towards the end of her time in the Antarctic something happens that no one could have predicted.
A body is found. It is the body of a scientist that was at the research station briefly. His body is in the middle of the snow and in really bad condition. Carrie is at a loss about how this could have happened and who could have done it. She starts an investigation with precious little to go on.
Aided by pilot Delfy (Columbus Short – Accepted, Stomp the Yard), Dr. John Fury (Tom Skerritt – Alien, Top Gun) and FBI Agent Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht – Love and Other Drugs, Behind Enemy Lines) Carrie begins to realize that this is not just a simple case of murder, but as they find more bodies and an old crashed Russian cargo plane it becomes crystal clear that something big is going on.
Other than early scenes of Kate Beckinsale stripping and taking a shower which I’m sure kept the men riveted I really do not think that there is much about this predictable thriller to keep your attention. Even the shower scene is annoying and gratuitous because it serves no purpose at all except to show of Beckinsale’s great body. Sometimes I wonder if some talented (because she does have talent other than her good looks) actors’ agents really care at all about their clients’ career. Beckinsale deserves better than many of the films she has done and Whiteout is no exception.
A simple and unsophisticated story doesn’t leave the actors much to grasp onto. Other than the unique landscape (it was filmed in northern Manitoba and Montreal) and some interesting action scenes due to the harsh landscape. Even when the try to work a twist in it doesn’t work as you can see it coming a mile away.
The dialogue is incredibly cheesy. You feel sorry for the actors who have to say the lines. We know due to the Underworld series and the Total Recall remake that Kate Beckinsale is capable of carrying off action films, but even she looks uncomfortable at times. The rest of the acting is spotty at best other than Tom Skerritt, who manages to come off well.
-The Coldest Thriller Ever
-Whiteout: From Page to Screen