Catching Up: Whiteout Colin D Miller January 19, 2012 Features 1991 I’d never heard of this film, not until I saw it on the shelf in my local supermarket and even then it didn’t really appeal to me that much. It struck me as a bit like The Thing, but you know, without the freaky monster and Kurt Russell’s big beard. However, one thing it did have going for it was the fact it starred Kate Beckinsale and as shallow as I may sound, I wanted to see this movie purely because I find her quite attractive. While at the time I was unwilling to part with my £10 for the DVD, I made a mental note of the title and decided to check it out when it popped up on my lovefilm streaming thing on my xbox (I’m sure it has a technical name, if so let me know for future reference please). It starts off epically enough. Big Russian aircraft flying over the Antarctic in the late 40s, there’s a fight on board and we then see it crash in a suitably disasterous CGI wide angle shot that wouldn’t look out of place in a Michael Bay schlockfest. Skip forward 50 odd years and we’re introduced to Kate Beckinsale’s character Carrie Stetko, Sheriff of Antarctica and keeper of the peace. With only days to go before she is due to leave, a dead body shows up – naturally murdered one and then before you can say “Bob’s your Uncle”, the killer appears armed with a big hook. Cue panic, screams, untrustworthy characters and say hello to all the major slasher cliches you can think of. In contrast with the more action packed sequences, Whiteout excels during the more quiet moments of the film. By no means are these more somber scenes amazing, it’s just that the action scenes are so incoherent and hard to work out, there is very little enjoyment to take out of them. Naturally being called Whiteout, most of the major action takes place in the breezy Antarctic climate and as a result, most of the time the viewer can’t work what’s going on and like me, pretty soon gave up caring. Half the time I couldn’t work out who was fighting who and once I’d seen our damsel in distress running away from her would-be killer by following a guide rope at a snails pace, my eyes started to role the second time it happened. Kate Beckinsale puts in a passable performance as the films heroine, showing Carrie to be conflicted between her duty, her own wishes and her past. Tom Skerritt also pops up and brings a bit of senior authority to the proceedings. And as I mentioned earlier, the earlier scenes featuring a plane crash are presented with some slick production standards and no doubt kept a few CGI bods busy in the special effects department. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t all gel together in the way it should. Ultimately the film is let down by a rather drab script, forgettable characters and a rather predictable twist. Where I was hoping to be thrilled and on the edge of my seat, Whiteout left me feeling slightly disappointed and somewhat cold.