Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Film Review: The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible (Review)
Spain/2012
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Henry Bennet (Ewan McGregor), Maria (Naomi Watts), and their children Lucas (Tom Holland), Tomas and Simon are spending their Christmas vacation in beautiful Khao Lak, Thailand. Unfortunately, they are swept away by a destructive tsunami, as well as the many natives and the resort. As the tsunami winds down, Maria and Lucas struggle to survive and hopefully locate the rest of the family; meanwhile, Henry, Tomas, and Simon do the same.

The Impossible begins with brief introduction to the characters. Within the first ten minutes, a tsunami forcefully swoops in and separates the family. The rest of the film focuses on the survival of this particular family. From their heartbreaking separation to their inevitable reunion; along with the helping hands of the native people, and other stranded visitors. It's a journey through a devastating disaster where the people have to take care of each other. Despite being based on a tragic event, the film is mostly positive; you may cry, but they'll likely be tears of relief and happiness.

However, I never felt a genuine connection with the characters due to the lack of development. I felt the emotion and pain they go through mainly because of the superb acting, but it isn't really as effective since I don't actually know these characters. Also, the story is predictable, an almost "happily-ever-after" blockbuster. It focuses so much on this family, that it barely focuses on the people that were most effected by this natural disaster. And it's positive message is somewhat distorted due to this strong focus on an underdeveloped family; the helping hands are treated as insignificant and minor compared to the survival of the Bennet family. The people don't really come together as one would expect. The story is also a bit empty, due to some unnecessarily prolonged scenes. The runtime of the film is 1hr 53min, but the film is actually 1hr 43 because of the 10 minute credits.

The acting is fantastic from the entire cast. Ewan McGregor is great, really transmits his emotion well. Naomi Watts is also fantastic as she displays physical and emotional pain superbly. And, Tom Holland is equally impressive. The special effects are superb during the disaster sequence. The cinematography is also stunningly beautiful, despite the disastrous occasion. The music was also effective in leading the emotion of the film. The direction and editing is also fantastic. Most of the technical aspects of The Impossible are exceptional.

Although I have an article planned on the subject, this film is rated PG-13, despite its strong violence, gore, and nudity. This is likely due to the subject of the film, which I think is unfair. Aside from the box office, I don't think an R-rating would have a negative effect on the film. If you plan on showing this to children or young teenagers, then you should have an adult, as the film is graphically violent and natural nudity is seen throughout. The reason I mention this is because some films receive R-ratings solely due to Language, and a film like this receives a Pg-13 and it's ironically missing language. /rant

Overall, The Impossible is a good disaster film. Technically, the film is exceptionally - from the beautiful cinematography to the superb acting. However, the story is generic and predictable, and it's underdeveloped and distorted. I lightly recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, and nudity.

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